The Isla Vista Recreation and Parks District passed an ordinance Thursday night to prohibit overnight camping or sleeping in I.V. parks.

After four hours of debate, the board voted 3-2 to approve a final draft of the ordinance, which makes it unlawful for anyone to sleep from a half-hour after sunset until 6 a.m. Effective immediately, anyone found in violation of the ordinance will be subject to a $20 fine and will not be allowed to return to the park for 12 hours after their citation.

Board members Harley Augustino and Pegeen Soutar drafted the ordinance after the IVRPD discovered in February that the county law, which prohibits sleeping and camping in county parks, does not apply parks owned by the IVRPD. Since then, the homeless have been pressuring the board to continue to allow sleeping and camping in the parks.

Board member Ariana Katovich, who supported the measure, said the IVRPD is not equipped to deal with liabilities that would come with legalizing sleeping and camping, including attracting more homeless to the area.

“If we allow sleeping and camping, in black and white, IVRPD, IVFP, as well as residents and kids, will be defenseless against any onslaught of homeless who see our parks as safe harbor,” she said.

But homeless advocate Chris Omer said the board’s decision is detrimental to the unity in the community.

“Part of me is angry and part of me is really sad. I think the community suffers after [a decision] like this,” he said. “I see this unity between people and I feel this community between people because of what were doing here.”

Board member Dianne Conn said that while she’s sympathetic to homeless needs, sleeping in parks has proved unsafe and unsanitary.

“People say they shit in the bushes for lack of bathrooms and yet today there were two piles of shit today within quick stumbling distance of a bathroom,” she said.

I.V. Foot Patrol Lt. Russ Birchim said without the ordinance, the community attracted new homeless to the area, which he believes contributed to two recent stabbings of homeless men in the parks.

“Before, the regular I.V. homeless knew the Foot Patrol and we knew them,” he said. “It was a contained situation – we lived in harmony for the most part. The vast influx of new people was upsetting the mix.”

Birchim said he has had a cooperative relationship with homeless in the past and he hopes it will continue.

“If they … draft and ordinance and get it to us, we will enforce it,” he said. “And I feel safe to say … I’ll meet with the homeless, discuss it with them and give them time to leave of their own volition.”