• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says homeless camp emptied Tuesday after complaints from landowners – The Bloomingtonian

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Oct 7, 2022
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – OCTOBER 4: A homeless camp on the west side of Bloomington is in disarray after residents were evicted on October 4, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that a homeless camp was cleared by police and MCSO on Tuesday after receiving calls from nearby businesses complaining of trespassing and damage by individuals .

The owners of the Westside Fresh Thyme Market Building, which is in the city of Bloomington, and Cowden Construction, located in Monroe County, were the callers, according to the MCSO.

Several camp residents told the Bloomingtonian on Tuesday that law enforcement arrived at the camp around 2 p.m. and gave them a few hours to leave or face arrest for trespassing.

Chief Deputy Russell Brummett said the MCSO and Bloomington Police initially asked camp residents to have their belongings packed by 5 p.m., but agreed with all parties to give them until 7 p.m.

The land where Fresh Thyme is located is owned by Bryan Rental Inc & Crane Llc, at the following address: “C/o Lakes Venture Llc 209 Blm 2650 Warrenville Rd Suite 700 Downers Grove, Il 60515”.

The land where the homeless camp was located is owned by Cowden, Donald L Revocable Trust, whose address is: “Po Box 2177 Bloomington, In 47402”.

It is unclear from the GIS information which plot of land next to the homeless camp is owned by a construction company. The land directly north of the site is owned by a listed owner with a Florida address.

Many plots of land in the area are owned by several different limited liability companies, and it is unclear in most cases who owns the land. Other parcels in the area are owned by companies, trusts or individuals.

The Bloomington Police Department said the Bloomingtonian’s call on Tuesday was a county call, but they sent several officers and a resource officer to help the sheriff’s office.


County policies affecting homeless people are as follows:

CHAPTER 257

Camping, Trash and Storage of Personal Property

on Monroe County Government property

257-1. Illegal camping.

Unless otherwise provided by ordinance, it is illegal for any person to camp, occupy camp facilities, or use camp accessories on any property owned or controlled by the Monroe County, Indiana, government, including , not limited to:

a. Any park;

b. Any roadway; Where,

vs. Any parking lot or other property, improved or not,

without the express permission of the Monroe County, Indiana Board of Commissioners.

257-2. Illegal dumping and storage of personal property.

Except as otherwise provided by ordinance, it is unlawful for any person to place trash, trash, or solid waste or store personal property, including, for example, camp facilities and camp paraphernalia on any property owned or controlled by Monroe County, Indiana. , government, including but not limited to:

a. Any park;

b. Any roadway; Where,

vs. Any parking lot or other property, improved or not,

without the express permission of the Monroe County, Indiana Board of Commissioners.

257-3. Removal and disposal of illegally stored personal property.

Personal property stored in violation of Section 3 above should be removed and taken to the Monroe County Freeway Garage. Prior to removal of the property, a notice will be posted of intent to remove the property at least 72 hours prior to removal. The notice must contain: the date and time the property will be removed; where the property will be moved; the telephone number and name of the person to contact regarding the recovery of the property; and a statement that personal property remaining on site at the scheduled date and time of removal will be deemed abandoned and subject to disposal. Notices should be posted in locations and in a manner reasonably calculated to effectively communicate the notice to owners (eg, near personal property, etc.). All property removed will be subject to disposal procedures set forth in Monroe County Code Sections 258-2 through 258-4. In the event that the illegal storage is deemed to consist of garbage, garbage or solid waste, or to constitute a significant health hazard, the 72 hour notice need not be given and this property may be eliminated immediately.

257-4. Definitions.

“Camp” means to install, erect or occupy camp facilities, or use camp fixtures, or both, for the purpose or in such a manner as to permit overnight stays or the parking of a trailer, caravan or other vehicle for the purpose of spending the night.

“Camp facilities” include, but are not limited to, tents, huts, temporary shelters, lean-tos (cardboard or other materials) or vehicles.

“Camp accessories” include, but are not limited to, tarps, beds, beds, hammocks, campfires or other cooking facilities and similar equipment.

“Park” means the areas subject to the executive and administrative responsibility of the Monroe County Board and Parks Department.

“Recreational Vehicle” means a travel trailer, motor home, motor home or camping trailer that is primarily designed or used as temporary accommodation, that is either self-propelled or mounted on or pulled by another vehicle.

“Road” means any freeway, lane, highway, street, right-of-way, boulevard, driveway, and any other way or place in Monroe County, Indiana that is open to public travel, vehicular traffic, or pedestrians as of right.

“To store” means to set aside or accumulate for use when needed, to put in a safe place, to place or leave in a place.

257-5. Violations – Penalties, Remedies and Enforcement.

Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter will be a violation of the Class C Ordinance. Anyone who violates this chapter will be subject to the following penalties and remedies: Civil penalties and conditions set forth in Chapter 115 of the County Code of Monroe; and/or, an escalating scale of eviction from county property (eg, eviction for thirty days for the first violation, sixty days for the second violation, 90 days for the third violation, and so on). Those on the property of the county from which they were evicted, during an eviction period, trespass on the property unless they are actively engaged in the conduct of county business (e.g. registering a document, attend a meeting, etc.). The provisions of this ordinance may be enforced by Monroe County custodial personnel, any county employee responsible for the maintenance or management of county property, and law enforcement officers.

257-6. Parked recreational vehicles exempt.

The provisions of this chapter do not apply to recreational vehicles parked on any roadway, on any public parking lot or public domain, developed or not, if the recreational vehicle is not at that time used as a temporary dwelling.

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – OCTOBER 4: A homeless camp on the west side of Bloomington is in disarray after residents were evicted on October 4, 2022 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

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