WatchSonoma Watch

Santa Rosa council eases restrictions on sleeping in cars


It is no longer illegal to sleep in your car in public in Santa Rosa. Just don’t do it in a sleeping bag.

The City Council on Tuesday eliminated the restriction against sleeping for more than two hours in a vehicle after the rule in place since 1994 was challenged in court. But it left in place restrictions against camping in a vehicle, with fines beginning at $100.

sssThe change was made to comply with a lawsuit filed by Hollie Clausen, argued the city had no right to ban the harmless activity.

The city agreed to narrow the law to remove references barring “eating, resting, recreating or sleeping” for more than two hours in a vehicle. Critics contended the changes didn’t go far enough.

City Attorney Caroline Fowler said the changes would allow someone to take a nap in their car to sober up before driving home, for example, but it would not allow them to camp in their car on city streets.

“It doesn’t allow you to sleep in your car for more than 72 hours in front of somebody’s house,” Fowler said.

Police are still empowered to cite someone for camping in their car, as evidenced by gear such as sleeping bags, bedrolls, tarps, and cooking gear.

Some council members proposed removing that prohibition, but Fowler said that was a “separate social issue” that the council would have taken up later.

8 Responses to “Santa Rosa council eases restrictions on sleeping in cars”

  1. Santa Posa says:

    funny, are you sure any law changed at all? i drove into an alley to get off the street, wasnt even sleeping in the car, and was told by one of santa rosa’s finest, that i was violating the law, and was told to “goto another place” or “to any sort of shelter setup for people such as myself, who have special needs.”

    i will have you know i am not homeless. i had to lookup this law afterwards, just to see if i had been dreaming up the recent media about the change in law.

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  2. Larry Watkins says:

    bear, you present the best of the worst of progressive thinking in your comments. Most of us dumb, taxpaying, law abiding members of this society, are earning and earned our money the old fashion way, by working very hard for it.

    It didn’t come from a plush government job or family wealth. You should have tried it.

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  3. Follower says:

    I don’t think simply “reading” the Bible cuts it Bear. I think you have to also use your mind and think about what you’re reading.

    I’m pretty sure it says something about “the poor always being among us” and I’m positive I recall something about “envy” being a sin. Not to mention theft… and I don’t think it really matters if you steal other people’s wealth yourself or by proxy, theft is theft.

    I also recall a verse that says something about HOW to help the poor too. “Give a man a fish –vs- Teach a man to fish”.

    It seems to me that we have plenty of fishermen who sleep in, watch TV all day and wait for old Bear to show up with some more of his neighbor’s free fish!

    But it isn’t “really” about helping the poor, is it?

    No, it’s about making Bear feel good about himself because he forced another man to hand over his fish so Bear could be a hero to the “poor”.

    Yes, the poor will always be among us and the best we can ever hope to do is make sure that the poor have an opportunity to lift themselves from poverty.

    Instead we make poverty as comfortable as possible at the expense of the ONLY people capable of ACTUALLY helping the poor…. EMPLOYERS!

    “And where did all you exalted ones get your money? Mommy’s trust fund?”

    Envy much?

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  4. SantaRosaCitizen says:

    If I were homeless, I would like a safe place to sleep, even if that were in my car. Neighborhoods like mine are probably the safest.

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  5. bear says:

    And where did all you exalted ones get your money? Mommy’s trust fund? Tax breaks at the expense of single, childless renters? Or did you just steal it?

    Read the New Testament sometime.

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  6. Follower says:

    …and so goes the “fight” to make poverty as comfortable as possible.

    Impoverished people = Democrat votes!


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  7. Larry Watkins says:

    Sure glad the homeless with cars or whatever can now sleep, eat and park in from of my house and your house. That will sure improve the neighborhood and make us all feel more secure and safe in our homes.

    What are these social justice people thinking? I know, they don’t think, they just feel sorry for the underclass. Well what about thinking about the people who pay the bills just once in a while?

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  8. Emerson Burkett says:

    Gee, sure am glad the PD has put up all this fluff, instead of keeping up posts that generate lots of comments. Guess the natives are getting a bit too restless. Lets keep it light and bury all the controversial stuff. And, give the Moderator a few days off so stuff does not get posted until the article is already in the “recycle” bin.

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