Judge denies Phoenix’s ask for stay on ruling to clean up the Zone with appeal pending

May 1, 2023, 3:00 PM | Updated: 3:09 pm

(Google Maps Screenshot)...

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(Google Maps Screenshot)

PHOENIX — A Maricopa County judge has rejected Phoenix’s request to put an order to clean up the Zone homeless encampment on hold while the city appeals the ruling.

Judge Scott Blaney said that Phoenix didn’t establish good cause for a stay on the March 27 ruling that required the city to devise a plan to clean up the Zone and carry it out as soon as possible.

“The Court issued the preliminary injunction based, in part, upon the city’s past failure to address the issues in the Zone, as well as the city’s apparent lack of intent to do so until faced with possible judicial intervention,” Blaney said.

The initial lawsuit was filed on behalf of area residents and business owners that argued the city has been ignoring its responsibility to maintain the area and enforce laws there.

Phoenix has acknowledged the homeless problem downtown and said it had plans to improve conditions at the tent-filled area around the Human Services Campus, a collaboration of partner organizations that provide services to people experiencing homelessness at 12th Avenue and Madison Street.

Phoenix’s action plan includes new shelter space, enhanced cleaning and relocation options.

They will have to demonstrate that it has taken steps to improve conditions at a July 10 bench trial.

Rachel Milne, director of Phoenix’s Office of Homeless Solutions, has said the Zone is one of the city’s top priorities.

About 900 people camp outside the HSC nightly, according to Milne.

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Judge denies Phoenix’s ask for stay on ruling to clean up the Zone with appeal pending