BERKELEY -- The city has given residents of a homeless camp on Gilman Street under Interstate 80 a reprieve from its threat to clean up the trash and belongings there on Tuesday if they don't clean it up themselves.
The city's environmental health division on Thursday circulated a public notice terminating its previous notice warning residents they had to clean up or face removal of their property.
"The action is based on reports by the East Bay Community Law Center that occupants are actively working with numerous city agencies to find housing," the notice said. "This action will allow occupants additional time to make relocation arrangements."
The notice said the city will not wait forever, though: "The camp activity and accumulations continue to contribute to rodent harborage and create a public nuisance. The City will monitor the situation and may without further notice take appropriate action ... including the removal of personal property."
Osha Neumann, a lawyer who represents the homeless, said the new notice is welcome news but he thinks the city is not playing by the rules.
"The city can't take an action that would involve the removal of people's property without notice, and I don't see why it would want to," Neumann said. "I hope that's not what it's contemplating. Meanwhile, we believe that Public Works should place some trash receptacles at the Gilman underpass and begin trash pickup there. That would eliminate a lot of the problems that led to the initial abatement notice."