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Encampments and Abatements

Summary of City Staff Policy on Abatements of Unauthorized Encampments on Public Property

The city of Aurora is committed to a compassionate and care-focused approach to balancing the needs and security of those experiencing homelessness with the concerns of community members and the need to maintain the safety and health of the city as a whole.

What is public property?  

Public property is property and real estate that is owned by a government that is entrusted by the people for care. This does not necessarily mean that the property is available for public use or access, however — it simply recognizes that the property was bought and is maintained with taxpayer dollars. More specifically, public property includes (but is not limited to): a street, median, alley, sidewalk, strips of land between streets and sidewalks, travel lanes, bike path, greenway, public parking lots, city parks, city buildings and more.  

See city-owned property map

What makes an encampment eligible for abatement (camp cleanup) on public property?

  • The camp location violates a provision of the City Code.
  • The camp poses a significant public health or safety threat.
  • The camp is in a park facility, open space, natural area or trail not specifically designated or authorized by the Director of Parks, Recreation and Open Space for overnight camping.
  • The camp is on public property posted with “No Trespass,” “No Overnight Camping” or “No Camping” signs.
  • The camp location interferes with, obstructs or prevents maintenance of the property by staff.
  • The camp location interferes with the public right-of-way.
  • And other criteria

Reporting an Encampment

The public may report encampment(s) through Access Aurora at AuroraGov.org/ContactUs or by phone at 303.739.7000. Access Aurora is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Due to the high volume of requests to address encampments reported by the community, it may take a few weeks for concerns to get addressed. It is important to understand that reporting an encampment does not automatically result in an abatement. The city follows an abatement process outlined below.

Outreach Team

Once the city becomes aware of an unauthorized encampment on public property, and before determining an abatement, an outreach team formed by city partners will visit the site and provide occupants with community services and resources to end their need to camp on public property. The outreach team is not an enforcement entity, and members of this outreach team are trained professionals with years of experience working with people experiencing homelessness.

Abatement Decision and Notice

Several city departments meet regularly to review and discuss cases reported through Access Aurora, by city staff and the outreach team to determine whether encampments meet eligibility for abatement. If the city departments determine an unauthorized camp meets the criteria for abatement, the outreach team will provide the occupants with verbal and written notice of the abatement date and the need to move and remove their property. The notice will include shelter options available. No unauthorized camp will be abated without providing a minimum of 72 hours' verbal and written notice to move and remove the property, with some exceptions in place. The city must have sufficient shelter options available for all the individuals or families before an unauthorized camp can be abated.

Day of Abatement

The city’s outreach team will arrive at the unauthorized encampment to contact every occupant either the evening before the abatement or the day of the abatement if occupants are present. The team will offer a shelter option to every occupant of the camp, offer appropriate services and encourage the occupants to seek assistance. The team will also offer transportation to occupants who want services or shelter.

The city hires a private contractor to abate the camp.

Questions

For questions on the abatement process, please contact Access Aurora at 303.739.7000.


Private Property Abatements

The city has no authority to conduct abatements on private property. If the encampment is on private property, please contact the private property owner for abatement and submit a code enforcement complaint through Access Aurora. If you are the private property owner, and would like police stand-by assistance with an abatement, please contact the non-emergency line at 303.627.3100.

 

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