Lawsuit filed to shut down homeless ‘tent city'

Lawsuit filed to shut down homeless ‘tent city'
The fear of being kicked out Tent City started to grow right around the time a police tower went up at the corner of East 12th and North College Street. (Source: Bria Bell)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A Charlotte landlord filed a lawsuit on Monday seeking the removal of a homeless encampment just outside uptown.

The camp, which many refer to as ‘tent city,’ has popped up on the outskirts of Uptown near North College and Tryon streets since the start of the pandemic.

Residents with nowhere else to go have set up tents along several pieces of property in the area. One resident, Angelique Diaz-Landry, told WBTV earlier this week that many of the people staying in the tents have been turned away from local shelters that are already at capacity.

A recent profile from the Charlotte Agenda told the stories of several of the camp’s residents and efforts by local community volunteers to provide residents with food, water and help finding jobs.

On Monday, a lawsuit was filed by a property owner whose land borders several parcels on which the tents have been erected.

The lawsuit seeks damages for the owners of the property that have allowed the tents to be set up and asks a judge to order the camp to be dismantled.

“The encampment has made the Plaintiff’s Property completely inaccessible from North College Street,” the complaint says.

“As a result of the homeless encampment, the Plaintiff’s Property is continually filled with trash, debris, and human waste. The Plaintiff has been forced to clean the Property at substantial expense to itself.”

In the complaint, lawyers for the property owner cite 41 crimes reported on the block, including 25 assault, eight robberies and six thefts. As a result, the lawsuit says, the plaintiff’s property has decreased in value.

The lawsuit was filed the same day that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said it would not take any action to shut down the camp unless a property order specifically trespassed people off the property.

Neither the plaintiff nor either companies being sued could be immediately reached for comment on the lawsuit as of Friday afternoon.

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