Business Groups Sue Portland Over Homeless 'Safe Sleep Policy'

The Safe Sleep Policy, enacted by the mayor in February without City Council approval, allows homeless people to sleep in tents in select public areas and on sidewalks. Now a coalition of business groups says the policy was an overreach of power.

1 minute read

April 21, 2016, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"A coalition of Portland business groups, neighborhood associations, and a food cart pod are suing Mayor Charlie Hales and the city," reports Amelia Templeton.

The groups filed the lawsuit in Multnomah County circuit court, claiming "the mayor’s new policy allowing homeless camping on some public property violates state law and city code." 

Brad Schmidt also provides coverage of the lawsuit, offering more details on the possible outcomes of the lawsuit and soundbites from the lawyers representing the coalition of business and neighborhood organizations that filed the laswsuit.

According to Schmidt, "The lawsuit is a remarkable event in the city's checkered history dealing with homelessness. In the past, civil-rights advocates have successfully sued Portland over unconstitutional sidewalk rules and anti-camping laws that didn't account for the belongings of homeless Portlanders."

For more information on the policy behind the lawsuit, see the city of Portland website devoted to the Safe Sleep Policy, as it's called. The policy is intended as a six-month pilot project.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 in The Oregonian

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Aerial view of Oakland, California with bay in background

California Exodus: Population Drops Below 39 Million

Never mind the 40 million that demographers predicted the Golden State would reach by 2018. The state's population dipped below 39 million to 38.965 million last July, according to Census data released in March, the lowest since 2015.

April 11, 2024 - Los Angeles Times

A view straight down LaSalle Street, lined by high-rise buildings with an El line running horizontally over the street.

Chicago to Turn High-Rise Offices into Housing

Four commercial buildings in the Chicago Loop have been approved for redevelopment into housing in a bid to revitalize the city’s downtown post-pandemic.

April 10, 2024 - Chicago Construction News

Purple jacaranda trees in bloom in Los Angeles with tall white Art Deco buildings in background.

LA County Releases Draft Community Forest Management Plan

LA County's Chief Sustainability Office just released the discussion draft of Room to Grow, the first Community Forest Management Plan for the county.

3 hours ago - Los Angeles County Chief Sustainability Office

Aerial view of downtown Seattle, Washington at dusk.

Seattle Downtown Plan Expands Permitted Uses

The Downtown Activation Plan shifts from Euclidean to form-based zoning to encourage more commercial development.

5 hours ago - Governing

Large water pipe with brown water pouring out into dirt ditch.

Southern Water Infrastructure at Risk From Climate Impacts

A water main breaks somewhere in the United States every two minutes, according to an estimate from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

7 hours ago - The Conversation

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.