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Aurora Mayor Breaks Urban Camping Ban Vote Again, Final Vote Still to Come

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) -- The City of Aurora's second vote to enact an urban camping ban passed Monday night. Council members were split 5-5, with Mayor Mike Coffman's deciding vote to approve the ban. Coffman, who sponsored the bill, also broke the tie last month during the measure's first vote.

RELATED: Mayor Mike Coffman Breaks Tie To Pass Aurora Camping Ban

Mayor Coffman went into the meeting with amendments to the camping ban, but the council did not vote to approve them.

In a Facebook post, the mayor wrote, "I will have two amendments to clarify that no person in violation of the Urban Camping Ban ordinance will be issued a summons or a complaint and that violators will not be subject to any other penalties so long as they move after the required notice has been given."

Councilwoman Crystal Murillo, who's challenged the ban, suggested another amendment Monday night. Her amendment requires that staff come up with a policy for storing property moved from encampments.

The council voted to approve her amendment.

Since an amendment was added, the ban will need to be voted on again.

After the final passage, the new law will not take effect for another 30 days.

urban camp in aurora
(credit: CBS)

Last year, Aurora counted about 600 people experiencing homelessness, but there are only 130 to 150 beds at a given time. The ban can't be enforced unless there are shelter beds available for those being displaced.

Homeless advocates are still wary about what the ban calls for.

"Aurora needs to look no further than Denver to see what happens when you enforce a camping ban," said Cathy Alderman with Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. "You can't just cram a bunch of people into a building and expect them to rest and recover overnight, unless they have adequate space for their belongings and for sleeping arrangements."

Mile High Behavioral Healthcare is the only shelter in Aurora that provides both day and night services. During recent cold snaps, the shelter has been full.

"If it really is intended to get people into shelters, then, it would be accompanied by some funding to set up new shelter spaces or places for people to go, but it simply doesn't have that," Alderman said. "You won't see a homelessness resolution. You won't see people getting into housing, getting the services they need and getting off the streets for good."

The council will vote again to pass the urban camping ban in the coming weeks.

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