LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – A group of Commercial Center business owners are calling for the removal of a nearby growing homeless camp, but a county official said the camp is on private property and the owner must get a 30-day notice, first.

The property sits at the edge of the Historic Commercial Center off of Sahara Avenue. According to local businesses, numerous tents or makeshift shelters have appeared in recent weeks.

“It started with just one or two, and it turned into 30 very quickly,” said Paula Sadler, president of Commercial Center Business Association and Historic Society. “We have thousands of customers coming every week. We have hundreds of employees here. We really need to see accountability,” Sadler said.

An LLC out of Coconut Grove, Florida is the owner of the parcel, according to Sadler. FOX5 tried to contact a representative twice.

Homeless encampments have periodically appeared on that particular parcel or surrounding areas for years; the Business Association has previously hired security or clean-up crews to manage the issue.

“We have a lot of families that come in, we have a lot of ladies that come in. They’re not going to feel safe coming in that way, seeing that homeless encampment,” said Katy Scott of the Cue Club. “Sleeping, being right in front of our businesses or picking through the trash– it’s not a good look for us. We’re just waiting for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn,” Scott said.

Sadler and other businesses called for a community meeting Wednesday night, and Clark County Chairman Tick Segerblom addressed businesses’ concerns.

“We’re trying to act faster than normal. We have processes where [county officials] eventually we come in. If people don’t move, we take their stuff and make them move. It’s going to happen. But the end of the day, we also have to find services for the homeless,” Segerblom said. “I understand their issue, we’re trying as best we can to alleviate the problem. But it’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy. Be patient and persistent and realize that people have rights and dignity and we have to live within the law,” he said.

Segerblom urged businesses to do what they can in the interim to address the problem, some tenants told FOX5, campers can be aggressive or refuse help or resources.

Many said they just are not interested in that. They want to live out there,” Sadler said.


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