Shenandoah City Council restricts camping as preventative measure

The Shenandoah City Council met for a regular meeting Jan. 8 to discuss a camping ordinance. (Photo by Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper).
The Shenandoah City Council met for a regular meeting Jan. 8 to discuss a camping ordinance. (Photo by Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper).

The Shenandoah City Council met for a regular meeting Jan. 8 to discuss a camping ordinance. (Photo by Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper).

The Shenandoah City Council adopted a new ordinance Jan. 8 that will restrict camping within city limits to a two-acre designated location at Hardy Road and Simmons Drive.

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.
By Andrew Christman
Andrew joined Community Impact Newspaper in early 2019 after moving from Indiana. He is a 2015 graduate from Indiana State University, where he received degrees in English and journalism. He has written for a number of small town publications throughout his career as a reporter.


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