Atlantic Beach city commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to ban camping and sleeping in public spaces.
Language in the original proposed legislation was expanded from just “loitering” to camping, sleeping and lodging in public. City leaders say the new language is consistent with current case law.
The new ordinance offers outreach to those experiencing homelessness.
A police officer is required to first notify the individual of emergency shelters available, including transportation by an officer to that site.
Not complying after a warning could lead to an arrest.
Eileen Phillips has lived in Atlantic Beach for 32 years.
“If they would open a shelter at the beach, I think that would be good,” Phillips said.
One local business owner said she fully agrees with the ordinance and has experienced people sleeping on the front steps to her business.
While the beaches do not have a shelter, the local law offers outreach to people experiencing homelessness.
Atlantic Beach has engaged with Sulzbacher Center, Beaches Hope Team and several rescue missions.
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