South Carolina town bans sleeping in public spaces

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Courtesy: Port Royal SC

PORT ROYAL, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina beach town has banned sleeping in public spaces.

The Hilton Head Island Packet reports that the town council of Port Royal voted unanimously Wednesday to institute the camping ban. The new ordinance prohibits people from sleeping in public parks, buildings or grounds. The ban says that laying down bedding, storing personal belongings, or using tents or other structures to sleep in are also not allowed.

Some councilmembers expressed concerns that homeless people residing in public spaces could now face legal consequences for doing so. The town lacks a designated homeless shelter.

One provision in the ordinance allows camping “if permitted.” Councilmembers said that would allow events such as war re-enactments or overnight oyster roasts to take place.

The ban went into effect immediately Wednesday. The nearby town of Beaufort had also previously instituted a similar ban.

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