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:

The full list for mayor and City Council:,,,,,,,,,

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Wednesday: Community meeting on traffic, police, more. Sunday: 12th Man rally at noon in the park

January 27th, 2015 by Mike

A meeting from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday will focus on plans for the now-defunct Waldo Hospital, traffic on Lake City Way, new apartments near Northgate Mall – and police and public safety.

The January meeting of the Maple Leaf Community Council is held at Olympic View Elementary School, 504 N.E. 95th St. Free, licensed child care will be provided.

According to the council’s newsletter, the main item on the agenda will be a 45-minute presentation by Aegis Living on plans to build an assisted living facility on the grounds of the old hospital at 15th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 85th Street.

There will also be a briefing from the Seattle Department of Transportation on Lake City Way, and information on the apartments near the mall.

Finally, the newsletter notes: “The Seattle Police Department will be on hand to talk about public safety. It’s no secret property crimes are a problem in Maple Leaf. It’s also no secret the priority SPD puts on property crimes needs adjustment.”

Police-related items being discussed in the neighborhood this week include squatters in a vacant house in the 9800 block of Eighth Avenue Northeast and a number of tents in the Thornton Creek woods behind the bus stop at Fifth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 103rd Street (across from Northgate Mall).

In non-police news: Maple Leaf’s 12th Man returns to the park at noon Superbowl Sunday!

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Don't blame Maple Leaf residents for tent city reaction

September 22nd, 2010 by master

A recent opinion piece from Ken Schram on KOMO News points the finger directly at Maple Leaf residents for the outcry against the tent city planned at Maple Leaf Lutheran Church, 10005 32nd Ave. N.E.

Schram seems to have missed the fact that the church is actually in Meadowbrook, which is on the east side of Lake City Way. He writes:

Oh, no!

The homeless are coming!

The homeless are coming!

That’s the cry echoing around Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood after a church voted to host a tent city this coming Thanksgiving.

Our sister site Wedgwood View, whose coverage area includes Meadowbrook, has been following the topic more closely, and indeed not all of the church’s neighbors are supportive of the roving homeless tent city.

As for Maple Leaf Life readers, the only comments we’ve had so far in the posts we’ve written have been supportive of Tent City 3 being our neighbor.

However, considering that we’re separated from Meadowbrook by Lake City Way, it’s hard to say whether Maple Leaf residents would have the same reaction if a tent city were in our neighborhood.

But in the meantime, Schram’s readers seem to know where we stand on the issue, after he said that we “panic and screech: The homeless are coming! The homeless are coming!”

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Tent City 3 is coming to Maple Leaf Lutheran Church

September 20th, 2010 by master

Tent City 3 is coming to the Meadowbrook neighborhood in November after a vote of the Maple Leaf Lutheran Church on Sunday.

Beginning Nov. 27, the church will host the tent city for the homeless in its parking lot for 90 days, said Pastor Julie Blum in an e-mail to our sister site, Wedgwood View. Blum said the measure passed by a super majority of the congregation.

The issue has been hotly debated in the neighborhood, including more than 60 posts in a recent Wedgwood View blog post. Neighbors living near the church, located at 10005 32nd Ave. N.E., cite a host of concerns, including their fear that tent city will bring increased crime. A neighborhood site about those concerns is here.

Blum said the church will host a community meeting to “hear and address concerns” sometime in November. She said the church will inform neighbors when the date is set.

“It is our hope and prayer that those in our neighborhood who have concerns will see what a positive experience this can be,” Blum said in her e-mail, “and that they will use their energies to support the homeless and care for those in need.”

Proponents have praised other tent cities around the region as a humane way to help the homeless. They also say that there is little to no evidence that they result in increased crime for the neighborhoods that host them.

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Maple Leaf homeless camp is gone

June 30th, 2010 by Mike

A police officer and crews from the state Department of  Transportation removed the homeless camp in Maple Leaf above Interstate 5 late Wednesday morning. This “Notice and Order to Remove” is all that’s left.

A reader, Thor, notified police, the Transportation Department and us two weeks ago. “The other day my family walked to Rainbow Point park and noticed a homeless camp right next to the park, on the slope above I-5,” Thor wrote. “The location is near the top of a slope southwest of the intersection of NE 75th St and NE Banner Place.”

The Transportation Department said they will remove such camps, but must coordinate with police. The notice was posted June 25. “This is not an authorized area for storage or shelter,” it says. “All material will be disposed of in 72 hours.”

A half-dozen readers commented on our original story. Carl wrote: “That’s the ‘homeless bike dude’ …  he’s been there for years, but used to live a little further north on the other side of I-5. He is a fixture in Maple Leaf/Roosevelt/GreenLake trolling local arterials for cig. butts.”

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A homeless camp in Maple Leaf?

June 17th, 2010 by Mike

Rainbow Point park. Signs on Interstate 5 are visible through the trees.

Update: Thor has also notified the police and posted the camp on the Maple Leaf Community Council’s issue reporting map. He encourages others to call police if they have concerns. You can view the map here.


A regular reader e-mailed both us and the state Department of Transportation to say he and his family walked to a Maple Leaf park earlier this week and found what appeared to be a homeless camp alongside Interstate 5 at Northeast 75th Street.

“The other day my family walked to Rainbow Point park and noticed a homeless camp right next to the park, on the slope above I-5,” Thor writes. “The location is near the top of a slope southwest of the intersection of NE 75th St and NE Banner Place.”

In fact, Rainbow Point is a little-known park of a little over three-quarters of an acre, and just north of it, above the freeway, is the camp. Nobody was home when we went by this morning, but clearly one or more people had been there, as there were clothes, make-shift tables and dishes around.

The Transportation Department told Thor that they do clean out homeless camps on state property, with police present in case of disturbance, and would check out the one in Maple Leaf. “With a month left in the budget year, we have spent just short of $190,000 on cleaning up garbage from camps in Seattle,” the department wrote.

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The Homeless Neighbor

April 29th, 2010 by master

Seattle’s homeless population stretches far beyond downtown. North Seattle residents and businesses are also struggling to deal with the issue. To see how the community is trying to find a balance, we take you to the streets of Ballard for a raw and compelling look at the problem.

The Homeless Neighbor is the third in a series of stories partnering Next Door Media sites with the nonprofit Common Language Project and students of University of Washington’s Entrepreneurial Journalism class. One of the authors of this story is Christian Caple, the editor of our newest neighborhood site U District Daily. We invite you to take a look.

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