Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Modesto Wants to Make Camping in Your Own Backyard Illegal

By Emerson Drake

I know it sounds crazy but that is what they intend to do Tuesday night at the City Council meeting.  It’s Item #20 on this weeks agenda.

http://www.modestogov.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=449&doctype=AGENDA

If the City Council has their way, if you want to campout in your backyard with your kids for two nights you’ll have to go to City Manager Gregg Nyhoff to get a permit.  And as we all know permits are a fund-raising mechanism and as a result cost money.  Does anyone possibly believe this makes sense?

Councilman Joe Muratore of NSP2 infamy has been leading this attack on the homeless since he was elected. But now he and his cohorts are willing to punish all of Modesto’s citizens in order to “put the hammer down” on a few.

Children have been camping out in their backyards for as long as I can remember and longer. My grandsons have been occasionally camping in the backyard for years .  A sleeping bag is considered illegal by the Council’s new ordinance.

This Crazy Ordinance makes relatives visiting in RV’s illegal

The following is taken directly from the City’s website…

4-12.701. DEFINITIONS.

Unless the particular provisions or the context otherwise requires, the definitions

contained in this section shall govern the construction, meaning, and application

of words and phrases used in this Article.

(a)

“Camp” means to place, pitch or occupy camp facilities; to live

temporarily in a camp facility or outdoors; to use camp paraphernalia.

(b)

“Camp facilities” include, but are not limited to, tents, huts, vehicles,

vehicle camping outfits or temporary shelter.

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(c)

“Camp paraphernalia” includes, but is not limited to, bedrolls,

tarpaulins, cots, beds, sleeping bags, hammocks or cooking facilities and

similar equipment.

(d)

“City Manager” means the City Manager or designee.

(e)

“Establish” means setting up or moving equipment, supplies or materials

on to public or private property to “camp” or operate camp facilities.

(f)

“Maintain” means keeping or permitting equipment, supplies or materials

to remain on public or private property in order to camp or operate camp

facilities.

(g)

“Operate” means participating or assisting in establishing or maintaining

a camp or camp facility.

(h)

“Park” means the same as defined in Modesto Municipal Code Section

12-4.201(h).

(i)

“Private property” means all private property including, but not limited

to, streets, sidewalk, alleys, and improved or unimproved land.

(j)

“Public property” means all public property including, but not limited to,

streets, sidewalks, alleys, improved or unimproved land and parks.

(k)

“Store” means to put aside or accumulate for use when needed, to put for

safekeeping, to place or leave in a location.

4-12.703. UNLAWFUL CAMPING.

It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to camp, occupy camp

facilities, or use camp paraphernalia in the following areas:

(a) Any public property; or

(b) Any private property.

(1) It is not intended by this section to prohibit overnight camping on

private residential property by friends or family of the property

owner, so long as the owner consents and the overnight camping is

limited to not more than one consecutive night.

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(2) Nothing in this Article is intended to prohibit or make unlawful,

activities of an owner of private property or other lawful user of

private property that are normally associated with and incidental to

the lawful and authorized use of private property for residential or

other purposes; and provided further, nothing is intended to

prohibit or make unlawful, activities of a property owner or other

lawful user if such activities are expressly authorized by the City’s

comprehensive zoning ordinance or other laws, ordinances and

regulations.

(3) The City Manager may, as provided in Section 4-12.705 of this

Article, issue a temporary permit to allow camping on public or

private property in connection with a special event.

A violation of this section is a misdemeanor. In addition to the remedies set forth

in Penal Code Section 370, the City Attorney may institute civil or administrative

actions to abate a public nuisance under this Article.

4-12.704. STORAGE OF PERSONAL PROPERTY ON PUBLIC AND

PRIVATE PROPERTY.

It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to store personal property,

including camp paraphernalia, in the following areas, except as otherwise

provided by resolution of the City Council:

(a) Any public property; or

(b) Any private property without the written consent of the owner.

A violation of this section is a misdemeanor. In addition to the remedies set forth

in Penal Code Section 370 the City Attorney may institute civil or administrative

actions to abate a public nuisance under this Article.

4-12.705. PERMIT FOR SPECIAL EVENTS REQUIRED.

The City Manager may, in his or her discretion, issue a permit to establish,

maintain and operate a camp or a camp facility in connection with a special event.

A special event is intended to include, but not be limited to, programs operated by

the City departments, youth or school events, marathons or other sporting events

and scouting activities. The City Manager may consult with various City

departments, the health officer and the public prior to issuing any temporary

permit. Each department or person consulted may provide comments regarding

any health, safety or public welfare concerns and provide recommendations

pertaining to the issuance, denial or conditioning of the permit. A reasonable fee,

to be set by the City Council shall be paid, in advance, by the applicant. The fee

shall be returned if the application is denied. In exercising his or her discretion to

issue a temporary permit, the City Manager may consider any facts or evidence

bearing on the sanitary, health, safety and welfare conditions on or surrounding

the area or tract of land upon which the proposed temporary camp or camp facility

is to be located. 

 Did you catch the reasonable fee line?

In Other Words It’s up to the City Manager if Relatives can Visit Legally..!

Modesto is out of control and it’s up to the citizens to take control back.

I understand we have a problem with some of our homeless population but if they intend on punishing all of us to place handcuffs on a few, well they have another think coming.

I’ll be at the city council meeting with a sleeping bag to protest this intrusive law which attempts to place unconstitutional limits on what we can do on our private property.

I hope to see you there.

“What they do to the least of us they do to all of us and this is a perfect example.”

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One thought on “Modesto Wants to Make Camping in Your Own Backyard Illegal

  1. Kurt Abell on said:

    … “punishing all to place handcuffs on a few”… sounds like life with FM Golf for Modesto’s golf community.

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