EUGENE, Ore. - The City Council endorsed establishing camping "rest stops" for people without homes in Eugene.
Now people who live near the proposed sites have to decide whether or not to say, "Not in my neighborhood."
Monday night, the Eugene city council voted 6-2 in approval of the revised "rest stops" plan.
Under the plan, City Council will designate one or more camping sites located on unused city land.
The city says they will strictly enforce the number of campers, which shouldn't exceed 15.
The plan will also allow campers to stay for 24-hours, as long as their belongings are inside their tents.
The city proposed selecting locations from a list of 7 sites:
- 8th/ Mill: 0.3 Acres
- Broadway/ Hilyard: 0.3 Acres
- County Farm: 5.2 Acres
- Naval Reserve: 3.1 Acres
- NW Expressway/ Chambers: 1.1. Acres
- Roosevelt, West of Garfield: 0.2 Acres
- Willow Creek: 2.8 Acres
The city used criteria such as wehther the land is relatively flat, in useable shape, not heavily wooded, undeveloped - and not near schools, parks or neighborhoods.
But how close to a neighborhood remains up for debate.
Edward Baitey's backyard bumped into "Whoville" campers when they were camping at NW Expressway and Chambers.
"That's not cool at all," Baitey, "because a lot of the neighbors here don't feel as secure with a bunch of homeless people like right in their backyard."
Baitey is 18 years old, has a job and lives with his baby sister.
"Nothing's there so they just camp there, and they're dirty," Baitey said. All their stuff is around. It doesn't look good, you know? Eugene's supposed to be a clean city."
Megan Moseley's business Bodywise is located about 30 yards away from "Whoville 5" at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Mill.
She says she's lost business.
"We had clients who were resistant to come, that felt threatened," Moseley's said. "They were observing things like people defacating on the street, into buckets, and we're just offended and scared"
Moseley said she is surprised city council would even consider 8th/Mill because it's they gateway to downtown.
"I think that this is not a great site when we're trying to develop downtown," Moseley said, "and make it a safe place that we really want people to come and spend time and spend money. That's deterring people."
Other neighbors are open to the idea.
Lee Salant lives near a proposed site on Roosevelt, west of Garfield.
"I'm all for having someplace for people to live," Salant said. "It's better than them walking around trying to find some place. Give them a chance."
Mayor Kitty Piercy said other details in the plan will need to discussed.
In a previous interview, Mayor Piercy said the city is looking to partner with a private entity.
"A private partner will be in charge of sanitation, supervision, and keeping the grounds clean," she said, "and at no cost to the city."
She said there will be some cost passed-down. "It will be on public land and that is an investment," she said. "Nothing is free, nothing is free."
But Mayor Piercy said city council is "very counscious of the city's economics."
The City of Eugene said there is no timetable for opening the first rest stop.
In the coming days city council, the City Manager Jon Ruiz and Mayor Kitty Piercy will meet and discuss management, cost and supervision.