In a detailed, 23-page Order, Superior Court Judge Scott Blaney ORDERED the City of Phoenix to remove the “public nuisance” it has permitted on public property near downtown. The sprawling encampment has become known as “the Zone” and has received national attention recently.
The lawsuit filed last summer by business owners in the area – including the sandwich shop recently featured in the New York Times – asked the Court to order Phoenix to “refrain from expanding, maintaining, and/or operating” the proliferation of tents and makeshift shelters. Phoenix tried to dismiss the case, which the judge refused in January.
Today, Blaney explained why he can order the city to abide by the public nuisance laws while not telling the city exactly *how* to do so.
Here are his requirements:
Blaney also put it in terms of how it impacts the people living in “the Zone”:
“Finally, beyond the public policy embodied in the statutes above, public policy counsels that the City take immediate action to protect the homeless individuals residing in squalor in the Zone from the many risks and dangers identified throughout this Ruling. See Finding Nos. 15-22, 24-27, 43, 44. “Immediate action” means abating the public nuisance in which they reside and developing, as quickly as practicable, temporary shelter space for those that truly need it. It does not mean leaving the public nuisance in place and allowing it to fester while the City pursues development of long-term plans of permanent, affordable housing.”
The area of Phoenix is informally referred to as “the Zone,” and encompasses an area roughly between 7th and 15th Avenues and between Van Buren and Grant Streets.
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