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In the present paper, we deal with the problem of allocating the network resources in multi-rate Direct Sequence Code Division Multiple Access (DS-CDMA) Visual Sensor Networks (VSNs). We consider a single-cell system where each node uses the same chip rate, but can transmit at a different bit rate. In wireless VSNs, we face the constraints of limited power lifetime and of an error-prone environment, mainly due to attenuation and interference. The proposed cross-layer scheme enables the Centralized Control Unit (CCU) to jointly allocate the transmission power, the transmission bit rate and the source-channel coding rates for each VSN node in order to optimize the delivered video quality. The transmission power of each visual sensor assumes values from a continuous range, while the rest of the resources take values chosen from an available discrete set. The numerical results demonstrate the performance of the proposed multi-rate scheme vs a single-rate system.