Lebanon Revises Ordinance Affecting The City's Homeless

Sep 7, 2016

The city of Lebanon, New Hampshire is revising a proposed ordinance that would ban overnight parking in the city.

In June, hundreds of people came to a public meeting to protest the ordinance,  which was a response to an encampment of people living in vehicles on city property.

As a result a new task force was created. It includes city council members, the Lebanon Chief of Police and members from local nonprofits among others.

Paula Maville is the interim city manager and also sits on the task force.

She says the new ordinance will include a warning before a $100 ticket is issued to those caught violating the parking ban.

“We don't want to look at this as criminalizing homelessness. We're looking at this as trying to gain some control over what is publicly owned property,” Maville says. “We're looking at the potential of instituting more of a warning for the first offense, with perhaps some days to vacate the premises.”

Mayville says the task force has already helped nearly all the people living in an encampment off the highway in Lebanon find alternative housing.

The new ordinance will be presented to the city council in early October. A second public hearing about the ordinance will be held later that month.