Bill 54 – Personal Belongings on Public Property

You may have heard some of the buzz on the questions and comments surrounding Bill 54 in our local media, so here are the details on the legislation I introduced to address the storage of personal belongings on public property.

Bill 54 focuses on the unauthorized use of public property for the storage of personal property.  It addresses the issue of personal property being stored on public lands that can create public health and safety hazards and that adversely affects residential and commercial areas.  It also oftentimes interferes with full public access to public property such as sidewalks, public parks, and bus stops.

As chair of the Committee on Safety, Economic Development, and Government Affairs, I feel the City needs a way to help ensure that public property is safe and accessible to all members of the public for its intended use.  My bill provides a process for the public to retrieve their property and creates a mechanism to remove, impound, and dispose of personal property deemed to be abandoned on public property.

This bill provides a way for the city to make sure that public spaces are kept clear and safe for everyone to use, and provides procedures to handle this found property so the property owner’s concerns are also addressed.  It provides for a notice to be posted, gives the property owner a reasonable period of time to retrieve their items, and if not retrieved, the city may dispose of the property.  This is truly a safety and health issue dealing with material possessions. The city has an obligation to ensure that all public spaces are open, accessible, and safe to the public. To meet this obligation, the city must have an effective mechanism in place. 

The bill passed First Reading before the Full Council and now goes to committee. Please call or email me with your thoughts on this legislation.

Tulsi Gabbard

Councilmember, District VI

Chair:

  • Safety, Economic Development, Government Affairs

Vice Chair:

  • Budget

Member:

  • Executive Matters & Legal Affairs
  • Public Works & Sustainability
  • Parks & Cultural Affairs
  • Legislative Matters

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