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LA's Rules About Where Homeless People Are Allowed To Sit And Sleep Could Get Even More Complicated

A makeshift shelter in front of church on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown.
A makeshift shelter in front of church on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown.
(Matt Tinoco/LAist)

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The Los Angeles City Council's homelessness and poverty committee on Wednesday recommended repealing a controversial ordinance prohibiting homeless people from sitting or sleeping on sidewalks.

The committee wants city council to replace the law with one that is more narrowly tailored, and compliant with a recent federal court decision.

The ordinance, Municipal Code (L.A.M.C.) section 41.18 — known in homeless advocacy circles as the "sit-lie" law — makes it a criminal offense to sit, lie, or sleep on a public sidewalk anywhere in the city. The law was the subject of a major lawsuit, Jones v. Los Angeles, which was settled in 2007. Under the settlement with the ACLU, the city can only enforce the law under limited circumstances.

The proposed replacement law lays out a lengthy list of circumstances and conditions under which occupying a sidewalk would be banned. These include within 500 feet of parks and schools and within 10 feet of a driveway or building entrance.

What do you think of the new rules? How will the city enforce them? Join Larry Mantle and our live conversation at 866-893-5722.

For more on this story from KPCC’s homelessness reporter, Matt Tinoco, click here to read his full story at LAist.


Mitch O’Farrell, Los Angeles City Councilmember representing the 13th Council District, which includes Silver Lake, Atwater Village, East Hollywood, and Hollywood and Echo Park; he proposed the new rules for where homeless people can sit and sleep in L.A. City; he tweets @MitchOFarell

Andy Bales, CEO at Union Rescue Mission, a private Christian homeless shelter in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row