EUGENE, Ore. - Lane County has closed the Butterfly Lot and asked the people who pitched camp downtown there to leave.
Of the 15 tents on the site when the enforcement action started Wednesday, only 5 remained as of 3:15 p.m.
"Lane County has asked for the assistance of the Eugene Police Department to enforce regulations regarding criminal trespass and to remove trespassers from the property," the county said in a statement. "It is the mutual goal of Lane County and Eugene Police Department to gain voluntary compliance and ensure that the trespassers are aware of all available social services, their locations and contact information. Our collective intent is that everyone is treated with respect and dignity throughout this process."
Recently the county opened a camp on Highway 99 to provide the campers with an alternate place to sleep.
"Camp 99 has portable toilets, handwashing stations, trash receptacles and security services on site and is located across the street from the Lindholm Service Center, which provides meals, showers and laundry services," according to the county. "As many as 70 campers voluntarily relocated to Camp 99 and the Butterfly Lot was fully vacated."
But campers returned last weekend.
"Based on several reported health and safety concerns, Lane County had no other option than to declare the Butterfly Lot property in downtown Eugene closed and limit access to the property in order to clean and remediate the soil and infrastructure on the property," the county said Wednesday in a statement.
The county is urging people to move to Camp 99 or to a nearby Dawn to Dusk site.