FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WALA)-- Monday night city council members passed an ordinance making it illegal for anyone to sleep in a car, camper, trailer or tent, anywhere within city limits, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

When the ordinance was first proposed last month Emily Garner was concerned the homeless would be targeted.

"I was just concerned that these folks who need help would be punished and penalized for something that they might possibly not be able to help."

Council members say the new rule is not intended to target the homeless.

"This is not aimed at homeless people, although there may be times when homeless people have to be dealt with per this rule."

They say they're just trying to make the community safer and give their police officers a wider scope of enforcement.

"We have a great police department and I have no doubt they will use wise judgment in handling this ordinance."

After tonight's meeting Garner says she is content with the council's  decision.

"I really can understand why they need that in place to be able to take care of certain situations, for the police to have the tools that they need."

Anyone who violates the new city rules could be ticketed and even jailed for repeated violations.

Exceptions to the new rule include licensed mobile home parks, trailer parks and campsites. 

Youth camp outs on residential properties and sleeping in a vehicle on residential property are also exceptions, as long as it doesn't exceed fourteen days, along with the Fairhope Arts and Crafts Festival and Mardi Gras.

One of the council members did say that if in the future they find people are being treated poorly because of this law then he'll be the first to abolish it.

 

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