Commerce City 'developing a plan' to deal with trash piles along South Platte Trail

If you didn't know any better, you might think you're looking at a portion of the city dump. This is not a city dump -- not officially. It's a homeless camp.

COMMERCE CITY, COLO. - The homeless camps along the South Platte Trail now resemble a trash dump.

Next highlighted the plight of the homeless, kicked off the sidewalks of downtown Denver to the banks of the South Platte, back in March.

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"We all came up from Denver because of them pushing us off the sidewalks and everything there," said J.R. in March. "We get a little bit of peace out here where they don't go running us off and we try to keep it clean."

Well, J.R. wasn't there Tuesday, and it certainly wasn't clean. Now in June, at least three different areas along the bike path just north of Riverside Cemetery are covered in trash and, perhaps, some personal belongings.

"We understand that this is a public safety and environmental issue down there. What we're doing now is developing a plan. First, we're identifying the property owners and then we're going to develop a plan," said Commerce City spokeswoman Julia Emko.

"Once we know whose property is what; is it the city's property? Is it private property over there? Then, we can determine how to move forward. If the city is there, we have jurisdiction over our own property, but the city can't go on other people's private property and start taking action."

In March, the police department told Next that the campers were going to need to move because snow melt was likely to cause the river to swell, putting people at risk.

It's unclear if the homeless camps are still occupied.

Photos: Mess left along trail on June 27, 2017


 

The only life we noticed on Tuesday were a family of geese pecking through the leftovers.

"We know that it needs to get clean. We know that it needs to be safe. And we have been telling the people down there to please vacate," said Emko. "I know that we are actively working on this and hope to develop something within the next four to eight weeks."

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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