City of Winston-Salem’s Proposal to Occupy Winston-Salem

November 12, 2011 in News

Occupy Winston-Salem has received a proposal from the City of Winston-Salem per our request for a space to occupy. The following proposal will be brought before the Public Safety Committee meeting Monday, November 14th 2011 at 5:30PM at City Hall in Winston-Salem. If the proposal passes through that Committee, then it will be added as an agenda item for the next City Council meeting on the following Monday, November 21st at 7:00PM at City Hall in Winston-Salem. All Occupy Winston-Salem members are encouraged to review this proposal and be present at both of the meetings at City Hall. ***PLEASE TAKE NOTICE OF THE USAGE RESTRICTIONS AS THEY ARE PROPOSED***

City Council – Action Request Form

November 14, 2011

Mayor Allen Joines and Members of the City Council

Lee D. Garrity, City Manager

Council Action Requested:

Consideration of an Encroachment Agreement for Occupy Winston-Salem.

Summary of Information:

The Occupy Winston-Salem group has requested that the City provide them public land in order
to camp. A review of available public land that would satisfy the groups desires: visible, close
to downtown, near public facilities, and close to major roadways found that very few suitable
public sites would work. The one site that could work is the parking lot at the intersection of
Seventh and Marshall Streets. A map of the potential camp site is attached.

Staff from the Police Department and the City Attorney’s Office have concerns about
authorizing any group to camp on City-owned land. The Police Department concerns all relate
to safety and security and are based on the problems other cities have had at Occupy type camp
sites recently. Another primary concern of the department is the possibility that the camp site
could create the need for more City and more WSPD resources.

The City Attorney’s primary concern is the precedence this approval would set and the
obligation it would therefore place on the City to approve camp sites for other groups regardless
of who the group is and regardless of its message. A second concern from the City Attorney is
the City’s liability for any injuries or property damage which might occur in the camp area. This
concern is being addressed with a liability release requirement.


WHEREAS, the Occupy Winston-Salem Group has requested that the City authorized

their group to use designed public land for a camp site; and

WHEREAS, the Occupy Movement is a nationwide initiative which has requested

camps in many major cities in and beyond North Carolina with some cities approving and some

cities denying these requests; and

WHEREAS, the decision on approval or denial of these requests in other cities has

generally rested with the elected governing body; and

WHEREAS, the City of Winston-Salem does not have a mechanism or policy that would

allow City staff to grant permission for the usage of public property for a camp site; and

WHEREAS, there are staff concerns about the precedent that granting approval for this

use that cannot be appropriately balanced against the public needs of this group without the

direction of the governing body; and

WHEREAS, an encroachment agreement approved by the City Council could be a

mechanism for the City Council to use in giving direction and granting a permission; and

WHEREAS, an encroachment agreement can place restrictions on the use of the City

property to address health, safety, security and property damage issues; and

WHEREAS, the Occupy Winston-Salem Group has agreed to maintain the area

designated by the City in a safe, secure, clean and healthy manner and to remove all equipment

and clean the site upon leaving.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City of Winston-

Salem does hereby authorize the City Manager or his designee to issue a 30-day encroachment

agreement that may be renewed by the City Manager for additional 30-day periods as long as

both the City Manager and the City Council remain of the opinion that the restrictions on the use

are being met and that the continued use is in the best interests of the City.

Usage Restrictions

Term: This approval shall be for a period of up to 30 calendar days and may be renewed for
additional 30-day periods if the City finds that the Occupy W-S group has complied with the
usage restrictions and the use continues to be in the public interest.

Early Termination: The permission to use the site may be terminated by the City, if the
City finds that the Occupy W-S group or other users of the designated property have violated
any of the use provisions or any City, State, or Federal laws, regulations, or ordinances while
on the site.

The group shall hold the City harmless and release the City from any liability for injuries or
property damage which may occur as a result of the City’s allowing the area to be used.

Safety: The site shall be kept secure and individuals not affiliated with the Occupy W-S
group or not complying with the safety rules of the group or of the City shall be required
to leave the property. Adequate safety personnel shall be assigned to assure the safety of
attendees. The City will install temporary fencing along the perimeter of the assigned area
to aid security and establish one entrance/exit point. The group shall establish access control
protocols to prevent the occupancy capacity of the site from being exceeded.

Crime Reporting: Camp managers will report any crimes which occur in the camp to the
Police Department through the appropriate contact phone numbers.

Public Official Access: The camp area will be open to public officials for inspection and to
Police/Fire Department staff for conducting official business.

Occupancy: No more than 48 people will be allowed within the camp area at any one time.
In addition, only persons leasing parking spaces will be allowed in the remainder of the
parking lot outside the camp area. No more than 12 tents will be allowed within the camp
area, and no more than 24 campers will be allowed to stay overnight.

Heating/Cooking: No heating and cooking devices will be allowed inside the tents at
the camp site. No devices which emit flames, fire or heat or which use any flammable or
combustible material will be allowed in the camp.

Smoking and Fire Extinguishers: No smoking will be allowed in the camp site. Portable
fire extinguishers of quantity and location established by the Fire Marshal shall be placed and
maintained by the Camp Managers.

Garbage Disposal: The City will provide up to five 96-gallon roll-out garbage cans that
will be collected daily. The camp residents and visitors will dispose of all garbage in these
cans. The City will also provide recycling containers, and camp residents and visitors are
encouraged to utilize these for recyclable materials.

Toilet Facilities: The Camp Managers will assure that adequate portable toilet facilities are
rented, delivered, and serviced at intervals adequate to meet the sanitary needs of the campers

Vendor Restrictions: Vendors will not be allowed within the designated camp area.

Emergency Contact Phone Number: The group will establish and keep active an
emergency phone number which connects to group on-site staff so that the City will be
able to contact an on-site individual for answers to any questions about current problems or
concerns the City may have.

Standard Rules of Particular Concern: Although as indicated above the group must
comply with all the applicable laws and regulations, the following specific laws should be
carefully studied by the group to assure compliance.
• The City’s Protest Ordinance
• The City and County Noise Ordinance
• The City and State Firearms Restrictions

Area Appearance and Cleanup: The designated area shall be kept neat and clean. No
debris or debris generating materials shall be allowed. Examples of prohibited materials
include sawdust, straw pine needles, and mulch.

Physical Damage: The driving of posts, anchors, stakes, or other devices into the ground or
through the pavement will not be allowed.

Normal Operation of Remaining Site: The group shall manage their activity and that of
any visitors to assure that normal operation of the remaining parking lot and surrounding
businesses is not negatively affected.

Obstructions: No obstruction to the normal flow of stormwater into the parking lot drainage
system will be allowed.

1 response to City of Winston-Salem’s Proposal to Occupy Winston-Salem

  1. How do you set up a tent with no stakes in the ground?

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