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Camping/Tent Ban Ordinance

Your county government is approaching homelessness with compassion, community services, communications, and code enforcement. Recently, the Board of Douglas County Commissioners voted to approve an Ordinance that will promote the safe use of public property.

Ordinance (O-023-002), effective July 27, 2023, limits public camping and prohibits temporary structures on public property. The Ordinance is intended to regulate the use of public lands and public health, but will not allow for ticketing of people experiencing homelessness when a shelter is not available. Read on for frequently asked questions on this topic.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Camping Ban Ordinance

General Questions

What is a camping ban?

Ordinance 23-02 will prohibit camping or erecting a tent on county property without written permission from the county.

Homelessness in Douglas County has been decreasing. Why do we need a camping ban?

The intent of Ordinance 23-02 is to provide for public health and safety while providing for the lawful use of public land.

How will people know where camping is or is not allowed?

No one should camp on land they do not own unless it is clearly posted camping is permitted or they have permission from an authorizing party to camp on the property.

Does this ban apply to only unincorporated areas of Douglas County or also within its municipalities, like Castle Rock, Lone Tree, and Parker?

Ordinance 23-02 only applies to unincorporated areas of Douglas County on property owned by the County. It does not apply to privately owned property, municipal or city-owned property, state property (including state parks or highways), or Federal Property. Title 32 Special Districts (such as water or metro districts) within Douglas County can obtain a trespass letter similar to what private businesses can use when someone repeatedly comes to a property. Local municipalities may develop their own ordinances.

When does the ban go into effect?

The Ordinance was adopted on the second and final reading on June 27, 2023.  The effective date of the Ordinance is July 27, 2023.


Under the ordinance, shelters must be available to implement the camping ban. Where are these shelters in Douglas County?

Under Ordinance 23-02, a shelter does not need to be available in Douglas County to enforce the prohibition. Douglas County can work with shelters in other neighboring municipalities to ensure there is an available shelter.

What happens if all shelter resources are full?

Under Ordinance 23-02, if there is no alternative shelter available, the party violating the prohibition cannot be cited for the offense.


What is the County doing to help those experiencing homelessness?

Please visit the Douglas County Homeless Initiative web page by clicking here.

How can I help provide resources or support to those experiencing homelessness in our community?