According to Shenandoah Mayor Ritch Wheeler, the ordinance was brought before the city council to proactively prevent people from staying overnight in the city's parks.
"People can camp on a sidewalk, which is what happened in the city of Victoria [Texas]," Wheeler said. "More or less, it is homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk and you can not move them [because] it is a public place, unless you have one of two things; you either have to have an ordinance that designates a specific spot for them to go camp at, or you have to have a shelter with available beds."
Wheeler said the city of Shenandoah does not have a shelter, and the council likely will not build a shelter in city limits.
"It is going to be much more difficult to put that [ordinance] in place after something happens," Wheeler said.
The ordinance is modeled after similar ordinances used in Austin and San Antonio.
The council approved the ordinance with a 3-1 vote, with council member Charlie Bradt casting the dissenting vote.