Benton County To Allow Vehicle Camping On Church Properties

May 5, 2020

Benton County commissioners voted Tuesday to allow churches and other religious institutions to permit limited vehicle camping on their property.

The ordinance will permit up to three vehicles at a time. The host church has to provide access to toilets and trash disposal.

Mike RJ Miller is the pastor of Village Christian Church in Adair Village. He’s been involved in conversations about how churches can help the local homeless population. “I am just super, super happy that there is some type of engagement with the county and the faith community, because that’s what we’ve been striving for, collaboration and working together,” he said.

Miller's church won't be offering vehicle camping. It's inside the city limits of Adair Village, and the ordinance only applies to churches in unincorporated areas of Benton County. Some churches in Corvallis straddle the city-county line, so the ordinance would apply to the section of their property outside the city limits.

The ordinance will be in effect until the end of 2021, although commissioners could vote to repeal it sooner.