Living
10:57 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Fort Lauderdale May Limit Homeless' Ability To Urinate In Public

Fort Lauderdale may crack down on homeless individuals urinating outside.
Fort Lauderdale may crack down on homeless individuals urinating outside.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Daniel Oines

Update: The Fort Lauderdale City Commission unanimously passed both ordinances on first reading. The second reading will most likely be scheduled for the next commission meeting on May, 6.

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How does a city strike a balance between the needs of the homeless and the needs of those around them? Those questions will be put to the Fort Lauderdale City Commission as they consider two provisions on the agenda at Tuesday’s commission meeting.

At the beginning of this year, the Fort Lauderdale City commission sat down to discuss how the city could address the issue of homelessness better.

Out of that came ideas about ways to protect non-homeless residents’ quality of life. One of the ordinances up for consideration would prevent homeless people from urinating or defecating in public. The other would crack down on the homeless leaving bags and other items unattended around town.

Similar prohibitions were sought in Miami, but a 1998 court settlement prevented the city from encroaching on so-called “life sustaining” acts. Those include urinating in public and sleeping on the sidewalk.

Fort Lauderdale is not bound by that settlement.