BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The city of Burlington is closing a homeless encampment in the south end after police searched it looking for illegal drugs and after first responders had what turned out to be a replica pellet gun pointed at them.
In a statement issued Thursday, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said the people using the location off Sears Lane have until Tuesday to leave because of what he called the serious criminal activity and the hostile threat towards first responders.
“It is clear that the encampment at Sears Lane has become untenable and unacceptable,” Weinberger said.
The move follows months of complaints from neighbors about unsanitary conditions, illegal structures, and criminal behavior.
Before Thursday’s announcement the city had been working to protect public health and safety at the location and to find a way for the city-owned land to help address community housing needs in the short- and longer-term.
“However, in attempting to generate new, needed housing the city’s intent was never to protect criminal activity,” the statement said.