It was cold the afternoon of Nov. 23 in Tacoma. People huddled in tents filling the strip of grass between the sidewalk at People’s Park and South L Street. They were not in the park, but not outside it, either.
And yet, after a shooting in the park, Tacoma’s City Council passed an ordinance banning structures with walls from parks in early October. It was not a “tent ban,” officials said, although it was crafted with Martin v. Boise, a U.S. Court of Appeals decision for the 9th Circuit requiring municipalities to offer people shelter before sweeping them, in mind.