Business and Neighborhood Groups Sue Portland Mayor Charlie Hales to Halt His New Homeless Camping Policy

Plaintiffs suing the city include the owners of the Southeast 82nd Avenue food-cart pod Cartlandia.

A coalition of seven groups led by the Portland Business Alliance has sued the city of Portland and Mayor Charlie Hales over his decision in February to permit sleeping on Portland sidewalks.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, demands a judge issue an injunction against Hales' policy, which allows limited camping on sidewalks and city property.

The groups suing the city include the PBA, the Building Owners and Managers Association of Oregon, the Central Eastside Industrial Council, the Overlook Neighborhood Association, Pearl District Neighborhood Association, the division of the PBA known as Clean & Safe, and the owners of the Southeast 82nd Avenue food-cart pod Cartlandia.

The business groups argue that Hales lacks the authority to change the city's homeless camping policy. They say he needed a City Council vote and a change in state law.

"Further, the Mayor's Camping Policy is fundamentally a legislative action, but was accomplished not by a vote of the City Council, but instead by the Mayor's unilateral edict," the suit says. "The Mayor does not have the authority to command by fiat, and his Camping Policy violates State law limiting the number of camps that Oregon cities are permitted to authorize."

Hales' spokeswoman Sara Hottman tells WW the city cannot comment on pending litigation.