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Potential Code Compliance Issues At Sonora Homeless Camp

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Sonora, CA – In tandem with efforts to expand services for the local homeless, officials confirm they are addressing potential health-hazard violations at an encampment near downtown Sonora.

Among expanding collaborative partnerships and outreach efforts, as reported here, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors recently approved using funding provided through a Behavioral Health Department grant award to create a dedicated county staff position to serve as a coordinator.

Other notable actions specifically involving the camp, which is located off Stockton Road, have included Sonora City Council and Give Someone A Chance organizers, who also operate a free shower bus service, collaborating on the installation of portable toilets at the camp, which is located off Stockton Road. It was later approved with the Amador-Tuolumne Community Action Agency (ATCAA) also agreeing to chip in funds.

This week, County Community Development Department Director Quincy Yaley acknowledged to Clarke Broadcasting potential health hazard-related issues being investigated in connection with the privately-owned property locally dubbed Camp Hope.

Explaining the process, she shares, “Typically what happens is that we receive a complaint regarding some type of violation on a property, and it could be related to a building…land use…or environmental health, and at that point, we take the complainant’s information — and it is all done anonymously…people do not need to record their name or information if they choose not to.”

At that point, she says, “We identify what is going on at the site and what violations there are if any or ordinance code…or health and safety code. We then notify the property owners if they have a violation.” The code compliance process in the event of a non-compliant owner would result in a public notice.

Yaney stresses, “It is always our goal to work collaboratively with property owners to reach solutions but the investigation is confidential while we are working with that property owner.”

So far, she says the county has met with the property owners, the Give Someone A Chance advocacy group, which provides assistance relating to the camp, and the Cal-Recycle state agency to help resolve the concerns.