FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2023
City of Morgantown Expounds on Camping Regulations
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Recently, community members have raised concerns regarding camping regulations in public spaces. City officials understand that there may be confusion about what qualifies as obstruction of public space and therefore have provided the following information.
The City has regulations in place that prohibit camping in parks without a permit. Due to the lack of open space, camping in the city is not permitted.
If an individual were to set up a campsite on a downtown street or sidewalk, they would be obstructing other members of the public who want to use those streets and sidewalks to travel. These individuals are in violation of the law, and they can be asked to move or charged with disorderly conduct.
As of March 3, the Morgantown Police Department began regular foot patrols to increase public safety efforts downtown. This entails an officer surveying the downtown area every hour to check for safety issues, violations of law, and citizens in need.
The City of Morgantown has historically had officers on foot in the downtown area in the past. The presence of foot-patrol officers makes law enforcement more accessible to members of the public who need urgent assistance.
The City of Morgantown is working alongside Main Street Morgantown, other cities, the ACLU and other social service groups to discuss the best possible ways to address community needs regarding the use of public spaces and resources with the goal to create a thriving downtown that serves all of our citizens.