City Launches Car Camping Pilot Program

Posted on January 26, 2020

Salem, Ore. — The City of Salem launched a new car camping pilot program.

Non-profit, public, or commercial entities owning or operating a property can apply to host a car camping location. Properties eligible to host may not be located within or adjacent to a residential zone, or be currently used for residential purposes. Car camping locations must be registered with the City. No more than eight locations in the City can be registered at any one time.

A registration application can be found online at Learn more about requirements of property owners hosting vehicle camping.

The program is not funded or sponsored by the City of Salem. Property owners hosting vehicle camping do so at their own risk and expense. All costs associated with hosting vehicle camping are the responsibility of the property owner. These costs may include providing toilet facilities, trash receptacles, supervision of the guests, and clean-up of the area.

This pilot program comes on the heels of the Salem City Council’s decision to declare a housing emergency, as a means to increase temporary shelter options for those experiencing homelessness in Salem.

Declaration of an emergency allows the Council to temporarily suspend certain land use provisions to:

• Increase capacity of the United Way’s Safe Sleep Shelter for women
• Allow car camping on private property with the owner’s permission

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