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Santa Monica Passes Homeless Laws

October 9, 2002

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ This liberal, beachside town passed two laws that will prohibit homeless people from camping in front of businesses at night and limit free meals served to them.

Both ordinances passed Tuesday aim to appease business owners, tourists and residents who have complained about increasing numbers of homeless people on Santa Monica streets.

``The public is scared and tired and just generally want it stopped,″ Councilman Herb Katz said.

The first ordinance, passed by a 5-2 vote, seeks to limit free outdoor meals by requiring groups serving 150 or more people to adhere to community event laws and county health standards. The second ordinance, passed unanimously, makes it illegal to sit or lie in downtown doorways from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. if the business owner posts a sign to that effect.

Some homeless advocates said they do not believe the new laws will hold up in court.

``When it’s all said and done, the laws will be overturned for unconstitutionality,″ said Moira LaMountain, a homeless activist. ``The city will be forced to come to grips with the issues.″

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