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Eugene Council Debates Exclusion Zone

EUGENE, Ore. — Dozens turned out Monday night to debate one of the hottest topics facing the city of Eugene.

More than 50 people signed up to speak about what they think should be done about the Downtown Public Safety Zone.

It’s an ordinance that has come under fire from some members of the community. It’s set to sunset at the end of November. In short, the ordinance bans repeat offenders who commit a crime downtown from going back downtown.

Council has the option of extending it, tweaking it or just letting it expire.

Community Alliance of Lane County says 62 percent of those who have been excluded identify themselves as homeless. But other community members, like downtown business owners, say the ordinance has helped keep downtown safe for the general public.

Because the deadline to decide on the fate of the Downtown Public Safety Zone is approaching, formal council discussions on what to do with the ordinance will pick up in October.

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