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Riverside adopts homeless encampment ban along the Santa Ana River The Rundown (Oct. 5 PM Edition) The Rundown (Oct. 5 PM Edition) 02:38

The Riverside City Council overwhelmingly adopted an ordinance making homeless encampments along many parts of the Santa Ana River bottom illegal.

The new regulations passed on a 6-1 vote with Clarissa Cervantes being the lone council member to vote against the ordinance. 

Beginning on Nov. 4, no one is allowed to lie, sit, sleep or maintain a habitable space along the areas designated as "wildland urban interface." 

Police officers, firefighters code enforcement and other officials can take down any camps in the specified areas. The items confiscated during these sweeps will be placed in storage facilities and those affected by the new ordinance can receive resources including temporary shelter. 

Mayor Patricia Dawson cited the concern of human-caused brush fires threatening nearby homes when backing the new regulations in August. 

According to the Riverside Fire Department, two-thirds of brush fires in the area were human-caused. The city attributed these fires to people "cooking, warming and debris fires in transient camps."

The new ban only affects parts of the Santa Ana River bottom that is within Riverside City limits and does not apply to areas that fall within the Jurupa Valley border.

The ordinance comes after Riverside County announced a $36 million project to fortify levees in anticipation of any flood hazards that would affect Jurupa Valley and Riverside. 

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