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3x3 Ordinance

Quick Facts

  • The 3x3 Ordinance was an ordinance passed on April 26th, 2018 by the Berkeley City Council, after they first attempted to regulate sidewalk behavior back in 2015.

  • The ordinance limits the space an individual’s items can take up on sidewalks to a 9-square-foot (3 feet by 3 feet) footprint.

  • The ordinance also maintains that the city has the right to remove items and enforce the regulation at any time once they are made aware of violations, after written notices of violations are provided.

  • On April 21st, 2020, the Berkeley City Council enacted a moratorium on the enforcement of various ordinances related to unhoused individuals in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

  • However, current manifestations of regulated street behavior can be seen in displacement as the city tries to open up after the pandemic—the city has recently begun to push folks out of their encampments to make room for recreation and outdoor business expansion, which bring more revenue into the city.

Criminalization of Homelessness

  • The 3x3 ordinance is an example of the criminalization of homelessness in the City of Berkeley.

  • The National Coalition for the Homeless define the criminalization of homelessness as legislation that "prohibit[s] life-sustaining activities," including eating, sleeping, sitting, asking for money, camping. Criminalization of homelessness polices the way that homeless people exist in public spaces, often applying a double standard of legislation to the housed and the unhoused. 

  • Examples of the criminalization of homelessness that transpire here in the East Bay and across the United States:

Action Items

Contact these lawmakers to contact to make your voice heard!

Find your district using this map or this council district locator.

Jesse Arreguin (mayor)

Rashi Kesarwani (District 1)

Terry Taplin (District 2)

Ben Bartlett (District 3)

Kate Harrison (District 4)

Sophie Hahn (District 5)

Susan Wengraf (District 6)
Rigel Robinson (District 7)

Lori Droste (District 8)


Read the Berkeley legislation yourself:

  • Meeting agenda and proposed sidewalk ordinance from April 26, 2018.

  • Berkeley Municipal Code

    • § BMC 14.48.020 prohibits obstruction of sidewalks. 

    • § BMC 13.36.010 prohibits sitting, standing, or lying on any street, sidewalk, or crosswalk in a way that prevents the free passage of persons. 

    • § BMC 13.36.035 prohibits "stationary dogs and persons lying on the sidewalk" from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM Monday through Saturday and prohibits three or more stationary dogs from lying in a 10-square foot area. 

    • § BMC 13.36.040 prohibits persons from lying in or on public planters.

    • § BMC 14.48.210 allows the City of Berkeley the prerogative to remove people and objects in violation of §14.48.020. 

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