News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood

 

City Council: Should homeless tents be allowed in our parks?

October 7th, 2016 by Mike

A week from today a Seattle City Council committee will hold a special meeting on the homeless crisis – including whether tents should be allowed on public property which might include Maple Leaf, Green Lake and Thornton Creek parks.

(Note that the Maple Leaf park is over an enormous drinking water reservoir.)

This is a proposal supported by council members 7-1 in September. Since then, a lot of news coverage has questioned it, and it’s unclear what an amended version might look like.

The meeting will be Oct. 14th at 9:30 a.m. It is of the council’s Human Services & Public Health Committee.

Councilman Tim Burgess, a committee member who was the “no” vote, earlier this week posted:

As introduced on September 6, the proposed law establishes a new right to camp on public property across Seattle, including in our parks and greenbelts, and on sidewalks and planting strips….

Read the proposed new camping legislation carefully. It contains a few key phrases that require the city government to allow camping on public property for at least 30 days per location.  In addition, even when an encampment is in an unsafe or unsuitable location, the City cannot remove it until the City has provided 48 hours’ notice, and must offer the individuals alternative locations in which to camp.

His full post is here.

Other coverage:

The Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat earlier this week:

Last month, some homeless-aid groups wrote up a controversial ordinance giving the homeless a right to camp on some public property. It was retitled as “Council Bill 118794” and introduced with 95 percent identical wording (though it has not yet passed). The city staff’s memo says bluntly that the bill didn’t come from any elected official: “CB 118794 was drafted by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and Columbia Legal Services.”

(Original September story from the Times is here.)

KIRO TV: “Camping in the end zone: How Seattle’s homeless crisis is spilling onto playfields.”
KING TV: “Maps show possible homeless encampments.”

Contact your council member? Debora Juarez (who was absent for the original debate) represents most of Maple Leaf: debora.juarez@seattle.gov

The full list for mayor and City Council:

ed.murray@seattle.gov, sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov, tim.burgess@seattle.gov, lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov, bruce.harrell@seattle.gov, lisa.herbold@seattle.gov, rob.johnson@seattle.gov, debora.juarez@seattle.gov, mike.obrien@seattle.gov, kshama.sawant@seattle.gov

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