What’s in the City Council’s proposed rules for camping on public property? Read the newest draft; see related maps

ORIGINAL 10 AM REPORT: This morning, the City Council’s Budget Committee is taking a closer look at what the mayor proposes the city spend on homelessness in the next two years.

But it’s just a briefing – no vote.

Meantime, the council is getting closer, outside the budget process, to voting on a controversial proposal that we are told is continuing to take shape, but “changing daily” according to one source – a new city policy regarding people camping on city-owned property, when and where it will and won’t be allowed, and for how long.

Some have described the evolving proposal as “opening” city-owned public property to camping. At one recent meeting, as reported here, Councilmember Lisa Herbold said 40 percent of city parks, for example, already have campers, so what they are trying to do is codify what to do about that beyond pushing campers from one place to another.

One councilmember, Tim Burgess (one of two current councilmembers elected to citywide “at large” spots), declared this week that he thinks the general concept goes “too far.” The proposal doesn’t just address parks as potential campsites. It includes sidewalks.

Here is what our source says is the newest version of the proposed legislation (if you look at the PDF, you’ll see how it’s been changing).

Its definition of public areas:

“Public space” means any area within the City limits which is owned, leased, maintained, controlled, or managed by the City, and does not include Public Development Authorities, privately owned land, public schools and colleges, the University of Washington, or the Port of Seattle.

And it includes this definition of public areas that would be “unsuitable” for camping:

“Unsuitable location” means a public space that has a specific public use that is substantially impeded as a result of an outdoor living space in that location. Improved areas of City parks, including restored natural areas or natural areas actively undergoing restoration, and public sidewalks in front of houses and dwelling units are per se unsuitable. Sidewalks in commercial areas are prohibited to sitting and lying during certain hours under SMC 15.48.040.

“Specific public use” is defined, in turn, as “lawful, appropriate use that benefits, assists, or is enjoyed by members of the public more than incidentally and occasionally.”

So, that all said, two maps are in circulation related to this. Note that since this is all evolving, they are not definitive “here’s where camping would be allowed” maps – and note that the park map shows parks that have what, under the definition above, could be considered “unimproved” areas; while Lincoln Park is entirely shaded in, for example, the “unsuitable” definition above would seem to rule out camping in much of its space. Here’s the citywide map of parks and greenbelts that have some “unimproved” areas (click it for a full-size PDF version):

And here’s the citywide map showing potentially eligible sidewalks (again, click it for a full-size PDF version):

If it’s determined that campers should be moved, the proposal includes a long list of rules regarding notification, proof of it, what has to be offered in terms of services/shelter – you can read the current proposal for rules starting on page 5 of the current draft legislation.

Also worth noting: This would be followed, under a proposed change in the legislation this week, by a followup process to determine where vehicle camping would be allowed:

Section 7. Individuals Using Vehicles as Residences. The 2016 one night count of unsheltered homeless identified over 900 people using vehicles as residences. The unsheltered population living in vehicles faces similar instability to those who reside in outdoor living spaces and risk impoundment of their vehicles and loss of personal property. The Human Services and Public Health Committee and the Gender Equity Safe Communities and New Americans Committee of the Council shall draft, consider, and introduce to the full Council legislation in 2017, based on the same principles contained in this ordinance, coupled with a long-term goal of providing adequate housing for those individuals living in vehicles. The legislation should address the multiple ordinances and laws that govern parking throughout the City with the goal of providing stability and protections for those people using vehicles for shelter commensurate to those established in this ordinance. To achieve that goal, the legislation will provide to people living in their vehicles protected areas for parking and modifications of parking standards, provide for outreach to address the reasons for homelessness, and establish standards for notice and safeguarding personal property, including impounded vehicles, equivalent to those established in this ordinance. The Committees named above shall be tasked with proposing legislation that meets these purposes to the Full Council by April 30, 2017.

Back to the proposals about camping, the current version of the proposal suggests a two-year limit:

In keeping with the recognition that public camping as a substitute for permanent housing is detrimental to the health and safety of all, and that these measures are an interim response to a situation the City is expected to resolve through other policy measures, this ordinance shall expire two years after its effective date unless expressly extended by the City Council. The Mayor shall report to the Council every six months in the interim on implementation of this ordinance.

Now the big question: When will this be voted on, whatever shape it finally takes?

We checked with City Council communications staff just before publishing this. The reply: “Too soon to tell.” While there’s nothing related to it on next week’s calendar, something could be added with just a few days’ notice.

SOMETHING TO SAY? City councilmembers’ contact info is here.

ADDED 11:38 AM: The Seattle Green Spaces Coalition has sent city officials this letter expressing opposition. An excerpt:

We oppose funding for temporary, outdoor “solutions,” which leave homeless people exposed to increasingly severe weather as winter approaches. Instead, we urge you to find indoor shelter, which is available in city-owned vacant and underutilized buildings, and make that your preferred option going forward.

Meantime, the City Council Twitter account has now confirmed a committee hearing on the proposal next Friday (October 14th) at 9:30 am. It’s also been added to the council calendar since we first published this story.

214 Replies to "What's in the City Council's proposed rules for camping on public property? Read the newest draft; see related maps"

  • Kayla October 7, 2016 (10:20 am)

    I strongly support the well-being of homeless people.  I do not want to see them mistreated and I do what them to have housing.  That being said, I agree with Burgess that this law is over the top and not useful to the homeless or the rest of the people who live in this city.  

  • Chuck October 7, 2016 (10:23 am)

    We are about to become Portland. You know that little park in Morgan junction that’s about to be expanded? Might as well put in permanent bunks. No, the letter of the law may say that transients in (some areas) of parks are not allowed. But I sense the genie is about to escape the bottle. Our leadership thinks it’s better to just concede the homelessness issue than to actually address it. This, in one of the richest cities in the country.  I congratulate Tim Burgess on his effort to stop this madness, but I fear that his cries of reason (and I’ve never agree with him before) are going to fall on deaf ears. Goodbye, Seattle that I loved. 

    • BRIAN C FLYNN October 7, 2016 (3:58 pm)

      Totally concur

      • Douglas October 10, 2016 (9:43 am)

        If you concur, I concur.   But what are you concurring with?

    • Melanie October 12, 2016 (9:31 am)

      I won’t be taking my visiting relatives to the city anymore. This law will destroy our beautiful city and economy. I don’t know anyone who wants to go shopping downtown and have to walk past or through tents. This is not the solution. And who wants to purchase a home and have a tent on sidewalk in front of it. I feel that this law will make Seattle a destination for homelessness and increase the issue instead of decrease it. I do not want to attend sporting events in a overrun city. As a child I enjoyed Golden Gardens and Gas Works Park. This would make it off limits to the majority of  citizens. Who wants to take children to play in a park in the middle of a tent city.  And schools will have to stop field trips to city.  This is not logical. This is not the solution. This is enabling.


  • KBear October 7, 2016 (10:28 am)


  • Community Member October 7, 2016 (10:29 am)

    But where will they poop?

    • WSB October 7, 2016 (10:38 am)

      CM – the legislation (linked as a PDF) includes many more details than I could include in excerpts above, but I figured they’d come up in comments, like yours. Page 6 says, “The City shall provide outreach, basic garbage, sanitation, and harm reduction services upon request at outdoor living spaces containing more than five individuals.”

    • WSJoe October 7, 2016 (10:41 am)

      The areas offered are Whale Tail, Fairmount, Bar S which have restrooms.  Places where a lot of children play, and I would not send kids in there unescourted.   What is with this Council???

    • Westside Rob October 7, 2016 (2:10 pm)

      FUBAR !!

      • Vanessa October 7, 2016 (6:01 pm)

        FUBAR is right!! 

  • WSMom October 7, 2016 (10:46 am)

    When are these people going to be voted out?  This is getting ridiculous. 

  • KT October 7, 2016 (10:51 am)

    As I read the frequent “West Seattle Crime Watch” reports in WSB I think how great it would be if the Seattle City Council gave public safety just part of the time they are expending on this issue.  

  • watertowerjoey October 7, 2016 (10:57 am)

    Good Lord.

    Sell now if you are thinking about it at all.  Prices are about to plummet.

  • AceMotel October 7, 2016 (10:57 am)

    I don’t have a problem with the legislation if they replace Parks with SDOT.  Homeless people are living under freeways and next to freeways, which I presume is SDOT property.  Homeless people living in Parks properties is not appropriate.  This is where people go to get away from urban living.  This is the land we have saved for wildlife and nature.  It is not land that has been saved for urban camping.   City council is being lazy,  proposing warehousing homeless people in city properties instead of finding long-term, viable solutions.  People should not have to live in a park.

    • WSB October 7, 2016 (11:03 am)

      If it’s next to a freeway – it’s WSDOT, state-owned, and not covered by this. Some of the land on which people are camping along Myers Way south of Olson, for example, is WSDOT land, as it’s right of way along State Route 509. Seattle has some jurisdiction, in terms of enforcement (same way with, for example, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, as Highway 99 is a state route, but Seattle Police have responsibilities on it). The West Seattle Bridge, though, is a city road, and I believe SDOT owns the right-of-way under it (where there also has long been some camping).

      • AceMotel October 7, 2016 (1:04 pm)

        Thank you.

    • Cheri October 19, 2016 (4:51 pm)

      Totally agree with you, except for one thing. They are calling it “camping” and camping it is not. Two years is not camping! Who does that? 

      Camping is not setting up a permanent residence in a tent so call these council members to the rug on this. It is NOT camping!

  • AmandaKH October 7, 2016 (10:59 am)

    We have over 300 agencies that exist to “help” the homeless.  Let’s start with consolidating these down to 1.  Immediately, today – right now. Let’s not study it, or process it to death.  300 agencies means that compassionate intentions have become a competitive business.  And that keeps people in crisis.

    Seattle, home to tech giants.  On the list for being the best well read, earning the most higher level degrees, and coming up with innovative ideas.  But This is the best we can come up with to help people in crisis?  

    Do Better City Council.  Be bold!  Reach higher and plan for the future.  

    • Sparkles October 7, 2016 (1:49 pm)

      Excellent points. 

    • AmandaKH October 7, 2016 (2:39 pm)

      Ok, so only 180 contacts to 60 different agencies… 

      I’m not a huge Mayor Murray fan, but I am digging his solution on homelessness.


      • neighbor October 7, 2016 (2:51 pm)


    • Gyngersnap October 9, 2016 (2:39 pm)

      Good response from someone who appears to have knowledge of the homeless situation. I agree that our city should be at the forefront of solving the homeless problem, given our resources. Nobody wants people to be out in the cold rain, hungry, sick, and dirty. More collaborated, focused effort needs to be made by ALL our social services, city housing, developers, those who already serve the homeless, such as church networks and charitable organizations, and come up with a workable plan.  Having people, many of whom are ill, and some with children, camping in our city parks is not the answer. There has to be one.

  • Denise October 7, 2016 (11:05 am)

    As I read this, natural areas which have NOT yet been restored are ok as camping sites, correct? I believe of the 2500 acres within the Green Seattle Partnership, only about 1000 have already been restored. There are some more which are undergoing restoration. But, that leaves somewhere close to 1500 acres of forest which are open to camping, right? And, some of these places have the least amount of invasive plants, which is why they were not the first to be restored. Am I understanding this right…the best pieces of forest are open to camping?

    That aside, how are they ever going to determine which places in natural areas are ok or not. You’d have to have a map to know which places were already restored, undergoing restoration, or not yet restored.

    • WSB October 7, 2016 (11:16 am)

      Lot of questions raised … but as our source noted (again, these are in-progress proposals, not on the record yet), as this gets closer to a council vote, it’s time everyone is aware of what’s on the table.

  • camp long neighbor October 7, 2016 (11:09 am)

    Why isn’t Volunteer Park on the map? It’s a city owned park. Too close to the Mayor’s house?

    • wetone October 7, 2016 (11:50 am)

      Ding Ding Ding,  yes indeed

  • sgs October 7, 2016 (11:16 am)

    Thank you, WSB, for that convenient link to the City Council.  Really helpful.

  • Crissy October 7, 2016 (11:19 am)

    Sidewalks? Sidewalks are in place to allow pedestrians to walk safely, separated, from traffic. Campers on sidewalks will block access forcing people (including, obviously, children, strollers, the elderly) into the street to walk around them. Outrageous! So much wrong with this plan.

    • Mikekey October 7, 2016 (1:03 pm)

      A couple of the places near Arbor Heights and the 30th SW green belt where they are showing eligible sidewalks aren’t even sidewalks.  Ever tried to walk west on 106th SW from the city limits?  No sidewalks and cars parked in the areas that people can walk.

    • Sparkles October 7, 2016 (1:56 pm)

       “….public sidewalks in front of houses and dwelling units are per se unsuitable. Sidewalks in commercial areas are prohibited to sitting and lying during certain hours under SMC 15.48.040.”

       I read this to mean that camping on sidewalks & the parking strips (city owed, but no city maintained) are unsuitable – so the camping wouldn’t be allowed there 

  • Dave October 7, 2016 (11:26 am)

    This is a horrible

    The volume of drug use
    in the parks is already at critical status and we should focus on housing and
    treatment. This is not an issue about “homelessness among people of color and
    other groups such as veterans and LGBTQ” but an issue about drug users and


    Look under the lower
    bridge and see the mad max living conditions going on, I see drug usage daily
    here. Seattle is going to crap and the mayor and Council members aren’t doing
    anything productive, stop focusing on bike lanes and start looking at the real

  • John October 7, 2016 (11:28 am)

    Mr. Burgess  is right on this issue. He proposes that we set aside designated areas outside of our parkland where the homeless would be allowed to camp. Sounds like common sense to me.  The rest of the council needs to get real. I would like Lisa Herbold to be clear about what her position is and how it is evolving. Her blog has been silent about it in the last week or so. I Expect that the majority of West Seattle voters would be dead set against camping in city parks or green belts for that matter.

    • WSB October 7, 2016 (11:37 am)

      John – I am asking her for comment today; I also noticed it hadn’t been addressed in any of her recent posts, or I would have linked. The last public-meeting comments we have from her were in her Sept. 14th remarks to the 34th District Democrats, in which she mentioned the 40 percent figure we cite in this story, and also that most cleared encampments were soon reoccupied. – TR

      • Mark Ahlness October 7, 2016 (12:29 pm)

        WSB, while you’re asking for clarification from Herbold, would you ask her the source for this 40% figure she keeps mentioning? In your earlier post it was “…are occupied by chronically homeless people” and in this post it’s “…already have campers”.

        Seems to me this is a very powerful figure to keep repeating, without knowing the source – or exactly what parks they are counting, based on what data set, etc. TIA – Mark

        • WSB October 7, 2016 (12:42 pm)

          She has so far sent me the response she’s been sending to constituents for about a month, saying she’s hoping to have a more-current statement soon. The constituent-reply text includes this line: “A recent memo to City Council reports that ‘Approximately 80 of the 430 developed City parks and all of the major green spaces managed by Seattle Parks and Recreation have chronic homeless residents.'” I took a shortcut to look for that memo, putting a key phrase into Google, and it brought in this Stranger upload of the memo from several city department heads, expressing opposition to what this proposal would do, dated August 31st: http://www.thestranger.com/images/blogimages/2016/08/31/1472695664-encampmentslettertocouncil_2.pdf – No further attribution for the number, though, just that statement. – TR

      • Tom October 7, 2016 (3:15 pm)

        Good luck on getting Lisa Herbold to respond! You don’t agree with her.You are viewed as heartless with out compassion The Mayor and the Council have lied to us on this issue.So far we have spent 150 million dollars and ask yourself .Have they improved anything

  • dsa October 7, 2016 (11:39 am)

    Do they get a daily spending allowance too?

  • Gina October 7, 2016 (11:39 am)

    I don’t understand how this plan would help anyone in crisis. The plan is the human equivalent of compost piles. Just let them breakdown and rot where they are. No food. No water. No shelter. Potential outbreaks of disease.


  • wetone October 7, 2016 (11:41 am)

    As a hard working blue collar home owner, tax payer not only am I going backwards from rising cost of paying for this mess the city has created and expanding, I am now from the looks of this city plan going to lose parks and public walk space that we have paid for over the years due to garbage, human waste and drug related waste such as needles. Sad how this town expects pet owners to clean up after their pets, but will invite more people from throughout the county to live and trash our public areas with zero accountable for anything. Don’t mind paying to fix problems and help the homeless, but what this city is doing is just the opposite. City needs outside audit to see where money is going. Makes me think about renting house out,  staking claim on nice waterfront or view property closer to work and park  motorhome there to live…….. 

    • erm October 7, 2016 (2:18 pm)

      Excellent point on the pet front.  This is so farcically outrageous, it seems like we’re watching a satire.  Time to go off the grid.


  • joeytheclown October 7, 2016 (11:41 am)

    Maybe the council should open up their own backyards before they open up some of ours?

    Do they not think this will increase the number of homeless moving here from other – less enabling – cities?

    This city is cra cra.

    • Jon October 7, 2016 (3:23 pm)

      Yeah, it’s not great. They should go ask Chinatown / Little Saigon business owners and residents how much they love our elected officials and their handling of the issue.

      They’ve dealt with it the longest and have been hit the hardest. It’s shameful.

  • sam-c October 7, 2016 (11:45 am)

    This doesn’t really make sense, without knowing how they will implement it, clean it, and police it.

    There are outdoor preschools at Jefferson Park and Camp Long- which are included  on this map for available camping areas.   

    wow. can’t wait until we have an opportunity to vote for a new mayor.

    • neighbor October 7, 2016 (1:21 pm)

      This is NOT the mayor’s proposal. This is what our city council has proposed. 

  • HTB October 7, 2016 (11:45 am)

    I’m a Fairmount Park elementary parent and the thought of these people camping there next to my kids scares the hell out of me.

    Why do we care about the rights of the homeless as opposed to those of us who actually contribute to society? This city is full of people who will go to the mat over the treatment of people on the bottom rung of society – I don’t get it.

    • mark47n October 8, 2016 (3:14 am)

      We go to the mat for those “on the lowest rung” because we must. To suggest that those that are on said rung are unworthy of that assistance is akin to those that are lower in food chain than myself are unworthy of notice. The problem with that philosophy is that you are below someone else.

      There is also the assumption in there that these people don’t contribute to society, somehow. I’ve met a person or three who live in cars or tents and work in the area. Given the median cost of a home or rent in King Co. that there aren’t more people living on the streets is sort of a miracle. But don’t worry, as this trend continues the working classes will up and move (they’ll have to) and there won’t be anyone to keep the lights on, water running or garbage picked up. 

  • low bridge October 7, 2016 (12:03 pm)

    The area under the West Seattle bridge has become a total wasteland from at least East Marginal to nearly Delridge. I have been going through there by bike for the last 15 years and it was until lately a very well kept clean space. Now it is a huge, deeply entrenched camp of motorhomes, tents, networks of larger tents linked by tarps — and generates an amazing amount of garbage.

    • low bridge October 7, 2016 (12:03 pm)

      And the graffiti!!!

  • Seattle Park Lover October 7, 2016 (12:11 pm)

    If this becomes a reality ,I can guarantee that the residents of West Seattle will come together and do everything possible to recall Lisa Herbold. She is not living up to her promise to serve her constituents. Lincoln Park and Solstice Park exist for the enjoyment by Seattleites of all ages in addition to visitors to our city. Allowing theses parks to become homeless camps will destroy one of the best features of West Seattle and bring  increased crime to the neighborhoods around them. I urge everyone to let her and her fellow council members know this is not acceptable

    • WSJoe October 7, 2016 (12:55 pm)

      Lisa failed us long ago.  Just like the rest of them.

    • neighbor October 7, 2016 (1:27 pm)

      Good luck with that. Lisa Herbold is one of the co-sponsors of this proposal. 

  • Mark October 7, 2016 (12:12 pm)

    This legislation is incredulous.  It is illegal to camp in our parks and it needs to stay that way.  Littering is against the law and people who litter need to be fined.

    The economy in Seattle is booming with many jobs available, it is time for theCiy to reduce spending and time spent on this issue.  Adults need to take care of themselves and not expect handouts

  • Mike October 7, 2016 (12:12 pm)

    The city is just grasping at straws for a solution now.  And this solution makes no sense.  Out of one side of their mouth they are talking about shutting down and cleaning up “The Jungle” because it is a dangerous place underneath our freeways, yet out of the other side of their mouth they are talking about opening our last remaining green spaces to illegal camping for two years.    What in the world do they think is going to happen to these parks, it will just become “The Jungle” on a much larger scale, and become far more dangerous and violent because there will be a lot more interaction with the rest of the public.  You do not open up homeless encampments next to schools and in public parks just because the land is there.    Have any of these city council members walked through Pioneer Square or between 1st Ave and Seventh Ave on Pike to see what the homeless are doing to those areas.  They are filled with trash all over the streets, people yelling, getting in other people’s faces, tons of smoking.     Are they going to lift the ban on not smoking in public parks also, because at least 75-80% of homeless people I pass downtown are smoking throughout the day?    

     This is just not thought out in anyway.    I love taking my kids to Schmitz Park, and running the trail, but it will become way to dangerous if this proposal goes through. 

     Have they not noticed that the more they loosen the rules the greater the population of the homeless becomes.  If you keep throwing out bird seed, more birds will come.   


  • Local Parent Bill October 7, 2016 (12:28 pm)

         In reading the map closely I see the sidewalk next to Fairmont Park is included as one of the permitted camp sites, that is exactly where the busses for Fairmont Park Elementary drop off, and pick up, kindergarten through 5th grade students .  Are our children going to have to step over used needles as the kids do at Lowell Elementary on Capitol Hill?  Will it be safe to use the rest room at the play-field any more without running into junkies shooting up?  I am not on board with this plan!

  • ACG October 7, 2016 (12:49 pm)

    No no no no no. 

  • Just an Observation October 7, 2016 (1:24 pm)

    Once you open up the parks to camp, how many more people living on the edge of employment would choose to live in a park instead of having to work at a low end end job,  just have it go to pay rent, insurance, clothes, utilities etc? I think it would be many more than just a few to join those current homeless who could work and pay for housing if they chose that lifestyle. And, that I can understand- there are some nice parks on the list that beats working for “the man”.  Camping has to be much less appealing that working day in and day to make it go away. And we are talking about nopening beeter camping site. When I was a kid I wish I could camp in the parks.

    Note, I KNOW that many who are homeless have issues that make working impossible and thier homelessness is the result but we know that is not all that make up the large homeless population in Seattle. 

  • Weary in WS October 7, 2016 (1:24 pm)

    Please write about your concerns to all of the council members!  They need to know how their constituents feel about this proposal.   

    • Sparkles October 7, 2016 (2:06 pm)

      Yes!  Please PLEASE write to Lisa Herbold, Tim Burgess (who we know is with us in this) and Lorena Gonzalez – WSB made it easy with the link above

  • dcn October 7, 2016 (1:24 pm)

    Areas that would be impacted in southern West Seattle include Roxhill  Elementary sidewalks and Roxhill Park property, the sidewalk along Barton where the “wall of buses” already causes problems, the property surrounding the old Denny middle school site (and in front of the SW Pool), EC Hughes Park, Westcrest Park, in addition to ones already mentioned, like Lincoln Park. 

    It really boggles my mind that anyone can think this is an acceptable solution, either short or long-term, to the homeless problem. This doesn’t help homeless people find adequate shelter, and it would deeply degrade the quality and safety of our green spaces and other public areas. 

    It is such a bad idea, that I almost wonder if the mayor and city council are trying to cause a scare, so that they can then propose a new “homeless levy” (in addition to the housing levy and Parks levies that have already passed). People would vote for it just to preserve our public spaces.

  • WSMom October 7, 2016 (1:25 pm)

    Did you all email the city council members?  I did.  Make sure you do so too!

  • old timer October 7, 2016 (1:30 pm)

    There are very few of us who are but one severe crisis away from being homeless ourselves.  And from that perspective, I would like to see permanently allocated spaces, plot numbered and with access to water, sanitary facilities, electric.  

    The proposal of the unbridled opening of almost all of our parks is like feeding pigeons, and shows the same lack of thought and consideration of the consequences.  

    Council members  cry crocodile tears for those in severe distress, and offer the modern day equivalent of “let them eat cake”. It’s called “let them live anywhere'”  Damn, there isn’t one of those politicians snagging less than $100,000 per year (except Sawant who knows she’s not worth it)  and they turn out this kind of crap work.  And they are so self-righteous when the come up with these so-called solutions.  These politicians need adult supervision.

    • neighbor October 7, 2016 (2:07 pm)

      Sawant still gets the full city council salary. We don’t pay her any less than the others. She does ostensibly give a large chunk of it away, but most of that she gives to the 15Now organization, which employs her partner and pays for her travel to speaking engagements. So make of that what you will.

  • Chris October 7, 2016 (1:32 pm)

    The Council got the subject off of what is happening to the streets re restriping, etc……like Admiral, 35th, etc.   and now here to this.    When do we vote again for Council members?

  • Vote them out! October 7, 2016 (1:33 pm)

    Isn’t allowing someone to camp on a sidewalk, which would block the sidewalk, a violation of the americans with disabilities act? 

    • Weary in WS October 7, 2016 (2:10 pm)

      Interesting point – please share your thoughts with our Council & Mayor!

      Mayor Edward Murray ed.murray@seattle.gov
      Councilmember Sally Bagshaw sally.bagshaw@seattle.gov
      Councilmember Tim Burgess tim.burgess@seattle.gov
      Councilmember M. Lorena Gonzalez lorena.gonzalez@seattle.gov
      Councilmember Bruce Harrell bruce.harrell@seattle.gov
      Councilmember Lisa Herbold lisa.herbold@seattle.gov
      Councilmember Rob Johnson rob.johnson@seattle.gov
      Councilmember Debora Juarez debora.juarez@seattle.gov
      Councilmember Mike O’Brien mike.obrien@seattle.gov
      Councilmember Kshama Sawant kshama.sawant@seattle.gov

      • Chuck October 7, 2016 (2:46 pm)

        Thank you so much for these addresses. I am rarely moved so, but I just penned this not-so-level-headed response:

        Dear Mayor and City Council Members, All:

        As a Seattle resident now for 36 years, I am terrified about what you
        are doing to this city. While you collectively fritter away our
        resources on bike share programs and reduced speed limits, a homeless
        crisis has arisen around your collective feet. Instead of doing anything
        that will truly benefit the unfortunate souls living on the street, you
        are suggesting that every single taxpayer and property owner must
        somehow suffer as well.

        Suffering with the likely increase
        of personal and property crimes, pollution, drug/needle dangers,
        untreated human waste, trespassing, and the spoiling of our beloved
        green spaces and parks. The list goes on.

        I IMPLORE you to
        head Tim Burgess’ well thought out warnings. And I thank you for that,
        Tim. You seem the only level headed voice in this madness.

        Lisa, I will sadly vote NO next to your name the next time it comes up should this pass. I had much higher hopes for you.

        Ed Murray, I will happily vote NO the next time I see your name on the
        ballot. You are an embarrassment to this city for the way you pass the
        buck of the homeless issue onto the citizens at large. Shame on you.
        Shame on all of you.

        PLEASE find another solution besides
        opening this city to the homeless. It is a cop-out of epic proportions.
        There has be a better way. And frankly, you are being paid to find it.
        Do your damn jobs!

        Sincerely and helplessly, “Chuck”

        • Mel October 8, 2016 (11:04 am)

          Thanks Chuck! I liked what you wrote so much I stole it and added to it!

          As a Seattle resident for only 2 years now, I am terrified about what you are doing to this city. I have fallen in love with many of the amazing things this city has to offer. But I cannot turn a blind eye to a largely ignored and problematic homeless population. It is rapidly becoming an unsafe city to raise my daughter.  While you collectively fritter away our resources on bike share programs, rainbow crosswalks, and reduced speed limits, a homeless crisis has arisen around your collective feet. Instead of doing anything that will truly benefit the unfortunate souls living on the street, you are suggesting that every single citizen must somehow suffer as well.

          Suffering with the likely increase of personal and property crimes, pollution, drug/needle dangers,untreated human waste, trespassing, and the spoiling of our beloved green spaces and parks. The list goes on. Not to mention this is a clear violation of the ADA of 1990 Title II to block sidewalks to the handicapped because we all know this will be impossible to enforce between certain times of day as proposed. 

          I IMPLORE you to heed Tim Burgess’ well thought out warnings. And I thank you for that, Tim. You seem the only level headed voice in this madness.

          Councilwoman Lisa Herbold,

          I will sadly vote NO next to your name the next time it comes up should this pass. As my representative for District 1, I am disappointed in this proposal. This is catastrophic for our community. Attached is a photo from Roxhill Park from May 2015. I haven’t returned since. There are already several parks that are unsafe for my daughter to play at in and around West Seattle and now you want to add camping next to elementary schools and our playgrounds? We currently utilize Whale Tail, Fairmount, and Bar S parks.  What do you think is going to happen now? Aren’t the police burdened enough already??? My 4 year old daughter and the children of our community deserve better than this. 

          Mayor Ed Murray,

           I will happily vote NO when I see your name on the
          ballot. You are an embarrassment to this city for the way you pass the
          buck of the homeless issue onto the citizens at large. Does ANYONE care about the public safety of our community?
           We will never have affordable housing as long as investors run the show, pay no impact fees and drive up price of real estate. 
          Surely the largest corporations in our local area, many of which pay little to no corporate incomes taxes, receive huge tax subsidies, and/or utilize off shore accounting to deflect taxation……ahem…Amazon, Starbucks,  Boeing, Holland America, can help our city out. After all, who wants to live and work here when we are overrun by homelessness? 
          Do not think I didn’t notice that Volunteer Park isn’t a designated camp site. NIMBY… Shame on you.

          Shame on all of you.

          PLEASE find another solution besides opening this city to the homeless. It is a cop-out of epic proportions.There has be a better way. And frankly, you are being paid to find it. Do your damn jobs!

        • Kelly October 10, 2016 (10:58 pm)

          When is the next election? I cannot wait!

  • Evil Twin October 7, 2016 (2:01 pm)

    HTB – I too am a Fairmount Park Elementary parent and cannot believe this! I read an article in USA Today from a few years back talking about how there is a very high amount of sex offenders that are homeless. Have they thought about that? Sorry but parks next to elementary schools are the LAST PLACE to legalize vagrancy and and tolerate drug use. Whiskey Tango…….

  • M October 7, 2016 (2:02 pm)

    Why is the city in such a rush to evict the homeless from the Jungle and reallocate them our public parks? At least the Jungle is away from where we enjoy our city and take our children. 

    Shame on Lisa Horrible. Shame on those of us that voted for Lisa Horrible. 

    Can we stop pretending that this homeless issue is due to unaffordable housing and finally admit that this is a drug and mental health issue? Let’s fix the real problem. 

  • dcn October 7, 2016 (2:06 pm)

    I just read Burgess’ update on homeless encampments linked in the story here. It is an excellent analysis of what is wrong with the proposed legislation and a better way to address homelessness. Here is the link again: http://council.seattle.gov/2016/10/04/homeless-encampments-an-update/

  • ernieusafret October 7, 2016 (2:07 pm)

    I just had a great idea.
    I think I will buy a tent and just camp out in one of the parks.
    The city council says it will be OK.
    Just think of all the money I can save.
    No taxes, no rent. I like camping anyway.

    The new park in Morgan Junction sounds good. Close to stores
    “Sarcasm ended”

  • Mamasuze October 7, 2016 (2:10 pm)

    Should this ridiculous proposition pass, I suggest we find out where all of these joker councilmembers live and go set up tents on the parking strip in front of their homes….. perhaps encroach on their sidewalk……and add a nice crappy pile of pallets for firewood too!

  • Meyer October 7, 2016 (2:16 pm)

    This act does go to far. It is only treating the symptoms and not the root cause. It is also unfair to all the tax paying citizens and home owners who now have to deal with crowded parks containing litter, drugs and tents.

    I really hope this doesn’t pass. I will be contacting Herbold about it.

  • iggy October 7, 2016 (2:27 pm)

    I’m wondering why the Department of Health (does Seattle have one; if not, the State DOH or even the Federal DOH) doesn’t shut all this craziness down.  OSHA would never allow any of these unsanitary conditions in a workplace.  CDC is always harping about washing ones hands and generally keeping good public health standards.  So, for example, how can the bus shelter at Westwood Village or the one at West Seattle Junction or the area on James St. under the freeway be allowed to have human waste, needles, spoiled food, and sometimes bodies that one has to walk around?  My grandparents remember the Great Depression in the South and people living without running water or indoor toilets or garbage collection or proper food safety.  The Great Society of LBJ back in the 1970s  cleaned  up the worst of these historic horrors.  And, here we are in 2016 wealthy Seattle, and our government (echos of Herbert Hoover) thinks it’s fine to live on sidewalks or in parks with no basic facilities and as a health and safety risk to all citizens.  Cholera anyone?    

  • M October 7, 2016 (2:29 pm)

    Since we live in the NW we are practically surrounded by a near unlimited amount of green space to camp. Why would a homeless camper need to live in the confines of the city where everything is more expensive? Or park one’s RV on a crowded Seattle street when there is parking abound just a short drive from the city.  Why not move to Issaquah or Salmon le Sac? Because this is where heroin and malt liquor is available. 

    • mark47n October 8, 2016 (3:24 am)

      Issaquah, and all other surrounding cities, including Vashon Island, have issues revolving around homelessness. Malt liquor and heroin are available there as well.

      Salmon La Sac, being a USFS campground, is pretty remote with no services. 

  • jtm October 7, 2016 (2:34 pm)

    I just wrote my city council representative for the first time ever, and I encourage everyone to please do the same. This is NOT a solution. This is NOT long term thinking. This is NOT safe. They need to get real.

  • Pops October 7, 2016 (2:41 pm)

    I am happy I live next to so many like minded people. I hope we are the majority and can stop this before it starts and recall or vote out (most of) this council in the future.

  • WSJoe October 7, 2016 (2:42 pm)

    This might just tip the iceberg  (finally).

    • Bonnie October 7, 2016 (2:50 pm)

      I have lived in WS since 1990 and my husband all his life (he is almost 50) and this is the first time I have ever forwarded him an article saying it’s time for us to move.  First time ever.  I love West Seattle (and Seattle) but if this happens I just may be done.  Time to move on.

  • Cynical girl October 7, 2016 (2:45 pm)

    Can’t wait to hear what the tourists have to say.

  • anon October 7, 2016 (2:59 pm)

     The city asks time and time again for us as property owners to approve all these tax hikes for various projects, yet when it comes down to it they have little to no concern for us. I am so sick of all the property crime in this city with repeat offenders constantly being re-released and the constant votes to tax us for this and that. I will certainly be emailing the group to voice my concerns. As one of the other commenters noted letting the homeless camp in public parks will not fix the drug and mental health issues. I would like to see solutions for the homeless, but I don’t think letting them camp in public parks is the solution.

  • WS gal October 7, 2016 (3:00 pm)

    I thought we had district councils so that they would be looking out for us. Is Ms. Herbold willing to PLEASE have a public meeting with her constituents, prior to her vote??? Lets ask her? 


    If not then perhaps, she should invite these folks to stay on her property.  

    • Bonnie October 7, 2016 (3:14 pm)

      Was Lisa Herbold one of the council members who co-wrote/sponsored this?  I’m not 100% sure but I thought she was.

      • neighbor October 7, 2016 (3:31 pm)

        Yes, she’s co-sponsoring this legislation. So for those of you who are writing to her, you should also write to the rest of the council members. The others may be more willing to listen.

  • Bradley October 7, 2016 (3:39 pm)

    If these morons pass this legislation, I will take my two-week vacation on a prime spot on Alki Beach in a very large tent.  I can use the  money I save on a real campground or hotel living it up and eating at the expensive Alki restaurants like Salty’s and Duke’s :)

    • AceMotel October 7, 2016 (4:41 pm)

      Bradley, this is actually not a bad idea. It would be a great protest to have thousands of people set up tents on the beach, or…… in a park close to some council member’s house.  Not to make light of the plight of homeless people, but to show that warehousing human beings is not a sustainable solution.  It’s bad enough already.  Opening up acres of urban public land is not a solution.  

      • Maggie October 7, 2016 (9:30 pm)

        AceMotel, this is brilliant. One night (or day)  of camping on Alki Beach to demonstrate the ridiculousness of this solution. Taxpayers are funding homeless solutions to the tune of more than $50 million per year, and as caring people I know many of us are glad to do, but it’s an insult and total disservice to everyone if they allow this proposal to go through. Sadly, while they will drive the poor homeless into the parks, I bet it’s highly unlikely for the City to allow permits to camp on the beach, what with the lack of services . A day of thousands of tents popping up on the beach would be great and doesn’t require permits. Pick a day for a meeting and let’s make it happen. Seriously awesome idea!!!

  • M October 7, 2016 (4:02 pm)

    I hope that some of Seattle Billionaires or mega rich put together some money to aggressively lobby against this and our city council to save our city. I’d personally donate some money for an organized opposition agaist this madness. 

    Believe me, I’m fully against Trump. However, I’m tempted to contact his campaign so they can highlight how ridiculous Seattle politics have gotten. Maybe that will bring some attention to this before it’s too late. 

    • West Seattle since 1979 October 7, 2016 (5:13 pm)

      M wrote:  “Believe me, I’m fully against Trump. However, I’m tempted to contact his campaign so they can highlight how ridiculous Seattle politics have gotten. Maybe that will bring some attention to this before it’s too late. “

      I’m probably dense, but what good would writing to a national politician you’re not even supporting do in a case like this?  I’d rather write to the council members, the mayor, and maybe state politicians.  Chances are the people making these decisions don’t care for Trump either, and even if he did make a big thing of this in one of the debates, they’d dig in even more if they thought Trump didn’t like their idea!  

      I mean, if you’re a Trump supporter, that’s your right.  But you said you were against him, so I don’t see how contacting his campaign will help.  Why not contact the campaign of the candidate you do support, if you have one?

  • H October 7, 2016 (4:21 pm)

    Completely opposed to this and writing. I am very concerned.

  • Double Dub Resident October 7, 2016 (4:58 pm)

    I’m away from my computer right now,  is there a list to contact these city council members? These people need to be written by as many people as possible.  

    On a positive note,  I heard that the mayor is against this and will veto  

    • WSB October 7, 2016 (5:36 pm)

      The list is in the story and several comments above, too.

  • Diane October 7, 2016 (5:14 pm)

    “these people” are human beings; that is all

    • Will W. October 7, 2016 (6:34 pm)

      Don’t be disheartened by these comments.  WS residents I know are flexible with solutions to these man-made problems. It is easy to espouse an idea of exclusion anonymously. When pressed for opinions offline we will see compassion.

      • Justin October 7, 2016 (8:13 pm)

        We’re a compassionate neighborhood in West Seattle, but that doesn’t mean we have to make bad decisions. In fact, if this terrible, destructive idea isn’t stopped now, our families and children who play in our beautiful parks will be put at risk. How would you feel about your child stepping or rolling onto an errant syringe? I assure you, they’re everywhere our homeless population is.

        We need a real, viable solution to the homeless problem. Not one that ruins our Seattle parks and green belts while putting our citizens at risk and failing to provide a long-term solution.

  • A October 7, 2016 (5:49 pm)

    The reason we have a homeless crisis here to begin with is because it is well known amongst the homeless to come to Seattle and you will be taken care of. The economy here is booming so why are there so many homeless here, specifically in west seattle? I’ve lived in west Seattle my whole life and I can tell you that this crisis is very new to our community. 5-10 years ago you could go anywhere in ws and not see a homeless person. Now they are everywhere. I feel sympathy for the homeless people who are down on their luck and are on the street because they lost a job. Let’s be real though, the majority of homeless people are drug addicts who care about nothing else besides scoring their heroin, meth or whatever their drug of choice is. Where there are homeless, the property crime goes up, the unsanitary conditions go up and the quality of living for everyone around goes down. Mayor Murray and the council please take care of your city!!! Seattle is not a homeless mecca! Stop inviting all these homeless people here! If you are not from Seattle and you are homeless go back to the city you came from we are not the city to take care of other cities problems we have enough problems of our own! Don’t ruin our beautiful parks by turning them into campgrounds for drug addicts, sex offenders and other criminals. Just when I thought our city council couldn’t get any worse they go and pull this chit on us. What are parents going to say to their kids when they can’t bring them to their favorite park because the city would rather have junkies shooting up and sex offenders camping out there? 

  • Myles October 7, 2016 (5:52 pm)

    Horrible proposal. 

    I have written to council members, please do the same    

    We need new council members except for one

  • Carol October 7, 2016 (5:52 pm)

    How much will the city have to pay out in a lawsuit when a child gets a needle stick in the park?

  • A October 7, 2016 (5:57 pm)

    @ Diane- yes these people are human beings you are correct. A good percentage of “these people” use heroin. A good percentage of “these people” are sex offenders. A good percentage of “these people” are convicted felons. Would you feel comfortable bringing little Jonny to the park to go swinging on the swing set with “these people” all around you? 

    • mark47n October 8, 2016 (3:29 am)

      You are making unsupported broad statements. please cite your sources.

  • Double Dub Resident October 7, 2016 (5:59 pm)

    @Diane ,

    My daughter is a human being.  So should we put her safety in danger for the sake of (the  majority  of) people who have made a series of poor decisions and most likely burned their bridges with family,  friends,  etc. and so have put themselves in the position they are in?  

    Sorry,  but I am putting my daughter ahead of these people.  Actually,  I’m not sorry about that.  I truly feel bad for people who are a victim of circumstance,  but unfortunately the majority of these people are where they are through a series of bad decisions.  

    As I write this on the news a small town is trying to battle this problem because of all the needles they are finding in the parks and the concern for kids they have and we are thinking of making this legal.   Asinine.  

  • A October 7, 2016 (6:35 pm)

    So if you head east on I-90 for a bit you will find millions of acres of forest. One would think that would be a perfect location for a homeless person to camp if they so desired. Oh that’s right, there’s no heroin in those woods and no homes and cars to break into to get cash for said heroin. City parks are created for people and their families to enjoy, not for drug addicts and criminals to camp/hide out in. What’s next? Once all the homeless campers invade our parks is the city going to realize they made a mistake? Is the mayor then going to create a position called “director of homeless camping” and pay someone 100k+ to fix our “camping” problem? What the hell has happened to our city and our politicians? 

  • Double Dub Resident October 7, 2016 (6:35 pm)

    I have spoken with many police officers who have had to deal with the Jungle over the years who have said one of the most remarkable things they have seen is that almost all of the people there have cell phones.  Not crappy ones,  but smart phones.  I thought it was a bit hyperbole until I read an article on some long term Jungle residents who provided selfies of themselves from their smart phones.  

    Then I was pointed to a website called getyourfreegovernmentcellphone.net.  This is just a sample of what I consider government enabling and something I even saw when going to community college,  though that’s a different conversation 

    • JanS October 9, 2016 (1:05 pm)

      Doubledubresident…that website is non-existent…there is no such thing…maybe you need to  get your facts straight…everything you said in your post  was something said by someone else. Did you do your own research? or just take their word for it…

      • Double Dub Resident October 9, 2016 (4:08 pm)

        @JanS. I do have my facts straight.  Maybe you should do a little research before you answer me telling me to do such a thing. 

        Here is the link     http://www.freegovernmentcellphones.net/

        And you didn’t read what I said to think that everything I said was hearsay. 

  • M October 7, 2016 (6:51 pm)

    If Lisa Herbolt really cared about this community she’d be reading this blog (like 99% of West Seattlites do) and reading these comments to understand that we are against her direction for our community. 

    Can someone remind me of when we get to vote her out? Is it in two years or

  • Evil Twin October 7, 2016 (6:53 pm)

    As many people have said above: the economy is booming, there are jobs everywhere. If someone doesn’t have a job right now it is highly likely that (a) they don’t want one (b) they can’t get one. To be super simple that pretty much what it comes down to. Yes there are those that are down on their luck or got hosed by life but realistically (and not trying to be a bad person about this) that has to be the minority in this case. What about the homeless guys that spend all day walking up and down an off ramp talking to people, dancing, etc? They have plenty of energy to be able operate a broom or shovel right? Homelessness is a product of mental illness, drug addiction or criminal record. Or some combination of those things. When is America going to stop treating the symptoms of bigger problems???? I work downtown in alleys, manholes, etc and there are LOTS of needles. LOTS. 

  • Chemist October 7, 2016 (7:25 pm)

    Eh, legislation will expire in two years automatically you say ?  Sure…. and then it will be made permanent (see – the bag ban which was set to expire at the end of the year was renewed Monday without counting the effect on the more carbon-emitting-than-plastic paper bag consumption rates).

  • Marty2 October 7, 2016 (7:45 pm)

    The perception is the City will allow people to use public
    spaces (vacant land, parks, right of way, sidewalks, parking strips, alleyways,
    etc.) for shelter, I don’t think the homeless are going to read the fine print
    on where they can or cannot set up a shelter.  This will only encourage more people to
    camp in our City.  The City isn’t
    enforcing the current laws now, how are they going to enforce these new regulations?  This is a bad idea and not a solution, it will only make
    the problem worse.

  • C October 7, 2016 (7:52 pm)

    There’s a guy been sleeping in the 3rd base dugout at Hiawatha for a few months now… it’s not like the police or parks have been doing anything about it; so the council is just making legal what’s not being enforced now. 

  • Mike October 7, 2016 (8:04 pm)

    Because this will actually be a severe danger to public health, it’s time we actually make sure our kids and neighbors don’t die because of our councils lack of intelligence.  If you find a needle, DO NOT touch it, call 911.  Why call 911, because there’s a new trend with heroin being cut with carfentanil.  Carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer and is lethal to humans in very tiny doses, also gets absorbed through skin.


  • Steve October 7, 2016 (8:41 pm)

    Well hopefully by the amount of comments here, 109 at this time, Seattle will come out of his stupor and elect the idiots out of city council and the mayor’s office.  You can’t make this up on horrible these idiots are.   What have you gotten for your increased in property taxes, nothing but a dump!  It is time that the 70 percent start voting and elect these idiots out of power.   Seattle has so much going for it but those in in government keep screwing it up with their idiocy!  

  • Maggie October 7, 2016 (9:16 pm)

    We voted out the last mayor because he couldn’t clear a bit of snow, but this one hasn’t even been able to put a bike program in place. Mayor Murray has created a leadership vacuum that has allowed this truly misguided park camping proposal to be considered as a viable solution.  As citizens we need to demand thoughtful, effective solutions based on best practices, that address all facets of the homeless issue, from reigning in runaway growth to creating better drug and mental health resources. We are leading the nation on some key progressive issues and we can do the same here, but this crisis demands real leadership–unfortunately it’s just not coming from this administration. Are we just supposed to wait for the next election while continuing to pump tens of millions of dollars into nonsensical solutions that only succeed in letting everyone down and making the issue worse? Every single day more people in this community go homeless and the best answer is to put them in a park? Truly shameful. 

  • Diane October 7, 2016 (10:23 pm)

    Tracy, is there a place to get easier PDF links to those maps? I cannot access at all via scribed

  • Howard October 7, 2016 (10:36 pm)

    I would rather share the streets with the homeless than half of the Starbucks drinking, iphone using, post grunge plaid wearing, Hillary supportin, can’t pull a third of the way into the intersection yuppies that I share the city with.  Sorry about all that, I was just feeling the hate and sometimes it makes me respond in kind.  

  • WSJoe October 7, 2016 (10:50 pm)

    The Times via Danny Westneat has finally weighed in:


  • Diane October 8, 2016 (12:06 am)

    thank you Tracy for the map links; very helpful

  • Captain Dave October 8, 2016 (12:53 am)

    At this point, I almost feel that the City should just sell off parks property to private developers and give us our tax money back.  Our leadership is so corrupt, inept, and non-responsive to voters that it does not seem possible that there will be any reprieve from the mountains of garbage and human stench piling up from the urban homesteaders. 

    If you want to see the true nature of socialism, just visit any one of the hundreds of encampments around the City.  It is disgusting and I am fed up with it.

  • Double Dub Resident October 8, 2016 (6:20 am)

    Oh yes Howard!!  I would totally love to have homeless people camping in the park that I help pay taxes on,  down the street from my house,  where I take my daughter,  rather than a Starbucks  drinker with the latest phone and hipster fashion, who doesn’t drive very well and votes Democrat.  After all,  I want to make sure my little girl and wife are safe and I’d rather run the risk of disease infections from dirty needles,  garbage,  “petty crime”,  etc  than those ungodly things you mentioned. 

    • Mike October 8, 2016 (10:52 am)

      you can’t reason with people that don’t want to listen

  • anonyme October 8, 2016 (7:35 am)

    Totally agree with “A”(multiple posts).

    Totally disagree that the homeless and transient population in Seattle is mostly local, and not imported and parasitic.  So-called studies, such as the homeless count, are anecdotal and not evidence based.  Even the numerous stories presented on KUOW or WSB by homeless advocates often highlight individuals from elsewhere who were drawn to Seattle due to it’s reputation for handouts.  The notion that inviting drug infested encampments into parks and residential neighborhoods and providing them with cash (as some advocates would do) is nothing short of insane.

    Drug or alcohol addicted criminals, with no desire for treatment or reform, should not be given special treatment due solely to their species.  “Human beings” are far from endangered.   What is endangered are the rights of law abiding taxpayers, who have already paid millions of dollars on failed programs, a failed Mayor, and a failed City Council.  I say boot the lot of them.

    • WSB October 8, 2016 (7:51 am)

      Sorry, the stats are not “anecdotal.” Not perfect either, but no stats are. If you have a different set of stats, link away. Just one report:


      • John H. October 9, 2016 (10:23 pm)
        October 8, 2016 (7:51 am)

        Sorry, the stats are not “anecdotal.” Not perfect either, but no
        stats are. If you have a different set of stats, link away. Just one


        Sorry, but by the articles own admission the numbers are at best misleading, so no, it’s not clear that the homeless are overwhelmingly from around here nor is it clear that they all came from somewhere else where they were also homeless.

        Having lived here for over 20 years the homeless problem had grown far more than the population over the same time.

        Clearly too our city council is applying poor reasoning, poor management skills, and poor judgement in trying to “solve” the homeless issue in this city. 

        Also, the parks will be utterly ruined if camping is allowed as has the land on just about all the places where un-controlled squatting has been done for any length of time.  Garbage, damaged vegetation, etc. will take a long time to clean up.    Plus, once “camping” is allowed in the parks and other places, in two years if the legislation is not renewed it will be impossible to have these campers removed as it has been in the current illegal camping sites under bridges, highways, etc.

        I tend to think of myself being on the progressive side, but sometimes I’m astonished by the lack of decision making, planning, consequence consideration, and inability to make potentially un-popular, but correct decisions by our city council.

  • Thistle October 8, 2016 (8:14 am)

    I am kind of curious if the City has talked to any of their hundreds of Park employees about this proposal. I know people who work for parks in south King County cities and the amount of dirty drug paraphernalia clean-up, human waste issues, and verbal abuse (mostly from neighbors pissed off at people living in the park), not to mention the day to day grind of having to be more or less on-call social workers  is a very, very, real issue, and that is with no camping laws in place (I don’t think people realize the efforts taken to get a children’s playground cleaned up before 9 am sometimes). They love their jobs and make a good wage, but never in a million years would I want to deal with the things they have to deal while having very little support or training. If anything, I would argue that this new proposal actually perpetuates the root causes of homelessness (which is heavily related to lack of mental health resources), because it allows those in power to completely turn a blind eye to things. Now, if people report a person living in the park, someone does eventually go out to investigate and sometimes, that person actually gets connected to help. Under this new law, I call in about a person living in a park and the response is….. so, what, its legal? Thanks, but we have a social worker set to go there in four weeks? Deal with it? …. seriously, how on earth does that help anyone, either the person living outside or the general public?

  • Tom October 8, 2016 (8:52 am)

    Seattle STOP doing this now…

    it is a public health threat and the tax payers DO NOT want legal homeless encampment…PERIOD!

    If you care so much open your yard and home to them but don’t force all of the tax payers to put up with this so you can feel good about yourself for a second…

  • Jeff October 8, 2016 (9:24 am)

    An indifferent government will inevitably lead to vigilantism.  This is too much.  And Diane, “human being” is a remarkably low bar.   I don’t want Gary Ridgeway or Donald Trump living in the park either.

  • JTB October 8, 2016 (9:35 am)

    This plan will require continuous enforcement of compliance with permitted areas and times.  If SPD is tasked with enforcing those regulations, it seems to me there will be an increased workload. Of course, if the regulations aren’t strictly enforced, there will certainly be “creep” over time into areas that are supposedly  off-limits

  • D October 8, 2016 (9:49 am)

    I still can’t live on my own property in an RV or Tiny House for more than 90 days of the year, but someone can tent on the sidewalk adjacent my property indefinitely.

  • Tom October 8, 2016 (10:04 am)

    exactly! I have expressed this to the Mayor and The City Council Throw in a little anarchy

  • Mike Mahanay October 8, 2016 (10:41 am)

    Another horrible idea from the Mayor and the Council. 
    Opening our parks and sidewalks up to camping does nothing to address the homeless issue, or the underlying causes of addiction and mental health. Just drive under the West Seattle Bridge and take a look to see first hand. I don’t wnat this at Alki, Lincoln Park or in any neighborhood!
    I wish our leaders(?) would show some backbone and not compromise the quality of life for the taxpaying citizens. There are parking lots and vacant buildings in Sodo and other places away from neighborhoods that can be used for a camping solution- the solution is definitely not in our neighborhoods and parks.

  • Mike October 8, 2016 (11:04 am)

    Interesting read.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carolyn-ossorio/homeless-in-seattle_b_10825132.html  The writer was homeless and lived in Seattle as a homeless kid with her mom long ago.  She makes some solid points about how flawed our mayor and council members are at doing their jobs.   How the mayor and council have wasted millions shuffling the issue around without actually tackling the problems.  Did you know they took $1,000,000 from the transportation fund to help ‘solve’ the homeless problems here in Seattle?  I didn’t.  I’d love for the council to repay that and use it to fix some roads.  Maybe they can use it to clean up the trash along the roads left from the homeless camps.

  • WS October 8, 2016 (11:05 am)

     I have lived and worked in this city for the last 50 plus years, what I have seen happen to Seattle in the last 5 years saddens and angers me.  You can not walk through downtown Seattle without walking past a tent or a cluster of them on a sidewalk, the stench of urine and feces gags you.

    It is deplorable that the encampment of motor homes and tents under the West Seattle Bridge  is even allowed. The West Seattle Bridge is a valuable infrastructure which would cost millions of dollars to replace, yet we have fires, propane tanks, gas tanks etc… all sitting under the bridge and being managed by a band of drug addicts and criminals. Evidently no one has taken into consideration the hazards and the possibility of the potential damage to our roads and bridges.  Now we have a proposal to allow these same folks to take up residence in our parks. Again valuable infrastructures costing millions of dollars all paid for by tax payers.  The  city council is proposing allowing them to sit up camps in the parks and we will all be looking at the same thing piles of garbage, human waste the stench of urine, fighting arguing and carrying on into the wee hours of the morning.

     We spend millions of dollars on homelessness and yet this type of activity is allowed. I actually think the politicians see this as a way to put in yet another plea to tax us ” uneducated voters” with another homeless tax.

    There are several solutions to this situation 





    Shame on the mayor and the city council for allowing the trashing of our city. 



  • Evil Twin October 8, 2016 (11:24 am)

    You know I read the blog a lot. Even on hot button issues there is somewhere around 50/50 for and against with people arguing the merits of each side of the equation.


    I hope Lisa reads this because it seems pretty unanimous that this is a ridiculous idea that does not address the real problem.

  • WC Ed October 8, 2016 (11:33 am)

    It’s unfortunate that Port of Seattle property is exempted from this ordinance because it seems Terminal 5 could be a suitable location for people needing a place to camp. 

  • SMH October 8, 2016 (11:38 am)

    I have worked in an emergency shelter and supported the needs of the homeless all of my life, but I am also deeply concerned about the non-human beings with whom we share this city. People need to live indoors, in affordable, decent, sanitary conditions. Wild animals need to live outdoors, in freedom, space, and peace.

    This proposal is not the answer to our housing crisis. It is not  humane, and it has the potential to do great damage to our last refuges for wild birds and animals. We cannot and should not let it divert attention from the real solutions: drug treatment, mental health treatment, and affordable/subsidized housing.

  • JoAnne October 8, 2016 (1:26 pm)

    We are bringing in millions of impoverished people from 3rd world countries each year.  What did you think was going to happen?   We can’t take care of our own poor people, yet we keep bringing in more and more.    This crisis will only worse.   Refugees from the middle east will soon be joining illegal immigrants in our “sanctuary” city and county.  Our government already prioritizes refugees for jobs, low-cost housing, and other services.  These newcomers are displacing U.S. citizens in all these areas.  This is already happening in Europe.  The sidewalks of Paris are full of campers.

  • ACG October 8, 2016 (1:49 pm)

    WC Ed, I was thinking the same thing about Terminal 5, too.

    Everyone, please, write to all of the city council members.  If Lisa Herbold won’t listen, perhaps some of the others will and change their vote.  They need to hear directly from us- we need to flood their inboxes with this message.  Posting a comment on the blog is great, but many of the elected officials will not read this.  Please communicate with them directly.  It only takes a few minutes and the email addresses are listed frequently in the responses upthread as well as in the article.  

    And, then follow it up with your vote.  Tim Burgess has earned my vote for an at-large rep.  Lisa Herbold has lost my vote for our West Seattle rep.  

    We do need a solution for homelessness.  One that helps the root causes (drug addiction, alcohol addiction, mental illness, or simply perhaps job retraining for gainful employment).  This plan does none of that and does nothing to truly offer these folks a safe, warm, protected place to live.  It is ridiculous and will have horrible ramifications on our community.  

    Please take the the time to communicate directly with ALL of the councilmembers.  They need to hear from us loud and clear.  Thank you.

  • M October 8, 2016 (3:12 pm)

    At least the geese made it to Vashon before they lost their home to tents. 

    • Rick October 9, 2016 (4:25 pm)

      Or on dinner plates. Squirrels,birds and racoons next.

  • Fiz October 8, 2016 (3:13 pm)

    Was recently talking with a friend in a southern state.   Her city tried this asinine plan and abandoned it two years later.    The campers just moved up to the next county, leaving behind filth and garbage for the city to clean up.

  • M October 8, 2016 (3:15 pm)

    Is there at least a way to set up some kind of o line petition for people to sign and get it in front of the council. 


  • dcn October 8, 2016 (3:35 pm)

    Done. I’ve written to all our council members and our mayor, including a thank you note to Burgess for his thoughtful and articulate analysis of the folly of this proposed legislation on his website.

    If any of you haven’t seen it yet, the KIRO new story Burgess links on his website, detailing the issues a children’s football team has had with homeless people refusing to move tents pitched on their play fields, is well worth watching: 


    This legislation would even further tie the hands of police and park employees to combat the already difficult and dangerous situations going on in our parks. Opening up our parks, sidewalks and other green spaces to sanctioned homeless camps is a major quality of life issue for Seattle residents. And, as others have pointed out, it won’t even help homeless people. It will only create obstacles for police and park employees, leave parks and sidewalks on public property less safe, and will perpetuate homelessness, rather than reduce it.

    Thanks also to the WSB, for alerting me to this situation and getting me involved. I have friends in other parts of town who have asked for the link to this story because they were unaware of what the council is proposing and have been unable to locate the maps you have posted. You are such a great resource for West Seattle.

  • Mike October 8, 2016 (5:07 pm)

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if the council and mayor push this idea through, they’d (under current regulations) be required to collect fees for non park use on park lands.  That would require all campers to fund their use.


  • Michelle October 8, 2016 (5:59 pm)

    Has anyone taken a gander at the strips just south of the BMW Dealership off of Airport Way?

    We need a better solution.

    I like that the City is interested in providing garbage service and port-a-potties but the idea of allowing people to camp in our parks is insane! I know many families who go on morning walks in the park. We worry enough about encountering an under-socialized dog off leash and now we have to worry about waking campers who may or may not be ‘morning’ people.

    The essential carte blanche to camp anywhere is extremely unwise. I hope the council rethinks its plans.

  • Barb October 8, 2016 (9:29 pm)

    NO, no and no again. I just voted to pass the last levy for homeless and this goes beyond crazy.  We are becoming the city of free and it has to stop.

  • Fairmount Springs Mom October 8, 2016 (10:22 pm)

    Lisa Herbold lives in Highland Park.  I notice that none of the  “eligible” sidewalks for camping, highlighted in green on the map, are in Highland Park.  But they are in my neighborhood, near my house and my kids’ school.  I have written every council member and the mayor and I am sorry I voted for her.

  • Wsres October 8, 2016 (11:35 pm)

    I am so done with this mayor and the city council. I have friends that live out of the city that drove here to spend time in the city…they were appalled, as I am, at the amount of tents, trash, obviously high/drunk people that are living under any overpass they can find, on sidewalks along alaskan way, all around the stadiums, right next to the freeway, etc… Welcome to out vibrant city!

    Our city has become a posterchild  for filth and addiction.  Last week I counted 9 RVs parked between the bridge and the water taxi. At the junction bus stop, it has become a scary home for drunks for most of the day. I am fed up. Murray is done. I can’t wait to vote him out, and any council member that is behind the nonesense of basically inviting more addicts to our city by letting them live where ever they want and people who choose to work foot the bill for them. 

  • 13 yr Luna Park resident October 9, 2016 (7:39 am)

    WSB – thank you for your continued excellent reporting and for providing an outlet for the West Seattleites to share information, vent, and have a dialogue on issues affecting our area. 

    I am very concerned about this proposal, for WS but also the entire city and will be writing to the entire council and individually to the Mayor, Herbold, Burgess, and Gonzalez, all of whom I can vote for or against when they are up for re-election.  

    I have compassion for the plight and struggles of our growing homeless population, but this is not the solution.  

    Tracy – thanks again for helping raise awareness and providing this forum for our voice to be heard  

  • CanDo October 9, 2016 (7:49 am)


     First the City purchases a failed bike program and now they want to adopt a failed homeless camping program.  What the heck is wrong with our council and administration?  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to look around and find what is succeeding and/or working well for programs to adopt.  Unbelievable! 

  • Christopher October 9, 2016 (10:06 am)

    I agree with most points above, and taking pen to paper to send to city hall. We have to help our homeless population, while maintaining the integrity of our parks and our neighborhoods. Has anyone considered the notion that this draft alternative plan is just a fabrication to elicit new ideas for creating better solutions? It is just so ridiculous and ill-conceived that they can’t possibly be serious. Can they? There is no way we can allow this draft plan to happen. We live in a city, county, region with some really smart people in the tech areas and sciences. This isn’t just the city’s problem, it’s a regional one. Time to start tapping the brainpower outside of city hall and coming up with new, smarter ideas.

    • JanS October 9, 2016 (12:46 pm)

      totally agree, Christopher, as the “brain power” IN City Hall doesn’t seem to be functioning correctly :(

      Mayor Ed seems to be all talk…he has not good solutions to this…

  • AceMotel October 9, 2016 (10:18 am)

    According to this reasoning, we may as well codify jaywalking since most people are doing it.  We may as well make the speed limit on 35th 45+ because at least 40 % of the people are doing that speed, anyway.  Likewise, Admiral Way.  Have SDOT study the average speed on every street and make that the speed limit.  We can also codify shoplifting.  Not because most people are doing it, but because it would really cut down on court costs.  What else?  Codify domestic violence?  For sure, we can codify littering.  Most everyone has littered at some point in their lives.  Graffiti, probably a good one too.  Faulty reasoning all around.  I thought I would never say this, but Tim Burgess is the ONLY reasonable person on the council.  He is the only one fit, and qualified, to represent citizens.

  • JayDee October 9, 2016 (11:42 am)

    I posted a long screed saying the same as many above. This is our highest priority in the City? Not Security, Fire, Utilities, Street maintenance, Parks…Our council needs to work about something other than the latest feel-good policy like the Grand Bargain of HALA, Pronto Bikes, or the Street diet on Admiral, or Families and Education and other levies.

    Why propose a policy that failed 200 miles to the south? To feel good? I hope our overstretched Parks Maintenance budget doubles.  Century Link field is only used a fraction of the time, much less Memorial Stadium. Let’s open them up to homeless camps–at least the bathrooms are already there.

  • iggy October 9, 2016 (12:51 pm)

    The City has totally lost control of the situation.  I just got back from First Hill and drove under I-5 on James Street.  A few weeks ago the City cleaned up under there.  Today the trash is worse than ever and various tents are within the fenced area and out onto the sidewalk.  Trash blows in the street, and much of it looks like food waste and worse.  Why doesn’t the Department of Health do something?  Although not a pleasant walk, the area on James is a pedestrian sidewalk that is a health hazard..  

  • Robin Adams October 9, 2016 (3:56 pm)

    I just sent each of the council members my dismay over this proposal. I frequent the city parks and write a nature blog around what I see.

    Folks we already have a mess in our parks from the homeless illegally camping in them. What will it be like when they are legal? A big stinking pile of junk and danger.

    Do we want our children going to a park with drug users and mentally ill living in tents there? Plus the piles of trash and human waste.

    Here us a link to my blog post so you can see what we have now.  http://wp.me/p1d1cX-1Jo 

    We need to join together to insure these piles do not grow.  We can find a better solution to this problem.

  • ChannelingLewisBlack October 9, 2016 (5:05 pm)

    Just shameful and sad on so many fronts, none the least of which is its drafting by our council “representative” who would turn much of Alki and Harbor into a campground, along with the beautiful wooded hillsides in Schmitz (anyone think about fire danger in August??).  

    As the father of an autistic daughter who will never be able to live independently, I fully empathize with the mentally/physically challenged’s need for treatment not tents.  Addicts need rehab, not REI.  People that just don’t want to work or reside in a lawful manner can not continue to be coddled.  The lawful, taxpaying residents of this city deserve law enforcement, including those that affect “quality of life” – something our current administration seems to have abandoned long ago.

    I’m relatively new to Seattle, but I’d really like to see a “Take Back Seattle” movement which would start by recalling any council person or mayor who even takes this measure to a vote.  We then need to move to policies and procedures that move us back towards a centric philosophy that makes this city as beautiful and prosperous as it should be.  We should not be ashamed of our success but embrace it to make solid decisions to address the fundamental causes and prioritize our assistance to the elderly, municipal employees (especially teachers) and the truly challenged.  

  • Julie Farmer October 9, 2016 (7:30 pm)

    Murray won’t worry about putting it up for a vote. Voting is outdated, it is a dead letter.

  • Bonnie October 9, 2016 (9:41 pm)

    Just came across this petition:  http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-seattle-turning-our-parks-into-homeless-camps

  • John H. October 9, 2016 (10:32 pm)

    This also is another example of our city government, for whatever reason, failing to get in front of an issue and solve it in the early stages before it got out of control.    Homelessness, traffic, public transportation, high density development, police conduct, may day issues, etc.

    Are they too idealistic and don’t know the real world and the consequences of their decisions?

    Are they not paid enough to attract smarter managers of our city?

    Are they too distracted by other high profile, but less important issues?

    Are they not being held accountable by the voters?

    Maybe all of the above . . . .

  • Whitesail October 9, 2016 (11:33 pm)

    WSB, is it possible to “sticky” this article on your front page. This is a terrifying moment and turning point for West Seattle and all Seattle neighborhoods.  The momentum against this insane proposal must be not be stalled. It is critical to mobilize our entire community to DELUGE Lisa Herbold and the other members of the council with our outcry against the destruction of our neighborhoods and parks. No park will be spared if this measure is not stopped.  Lincoln, Schmitz, Whale Tail, Alki, Roxhill, Mee Kwa Mooks, Solstice, Jack Block, and all of our beloved greenspaces will be destroyed and turned into “Jungles” if the council is allowed to proceed with this insanity. 

    • WSB October 10, 2016 (12:01 am)

      It is already. It’s the first in the “Spotlight Stories” boxes atop the home page. It’s also in the ticker. And we’ll be following up during the week, leading up to the expected committee vote on Friday – at some point, for example, the “final” version of the legislation will go public, along with amendments, statements from councilmembers, etc., and we’ll be covering it closely – TR

  • M October 10, 2016 (5:24 am)

    The only Final version of the proposal that is acceptable would make it more illegal to camp in our parks, not less. Let’s pass a vote to rid our parks of the tents and trash that is already there. 

    • Kelly October 10, 2016 (10:40 pm)

      How? Is that possible? Can citizens start a petition?

  • Double Dub Resident October 10, 2016 (7:40 am)

    I’m curious to know where this $150,000 a year homeless czar this city hired is in the middle of all of this?   

     This is NOT a solution,  but merely an attempt at diluting the problem by disbursing the homeless throughout the city.  If this passes this will not be a temporary deal. The city will probably then ask for more taxes to clean up the debacle they caused.  What a joke. 

  • M October 10, 2016 (9:39 am)

    Thank you for covering this WSB! I am opposed to it and have emailed the city council members to voice my opposition.

  • BJG October 10, 2016 (11:06 am)
    Can’t assess the bums taxes/campground fees. Can’t fine them for being squalid neighbors and not recycling. Can’t put them in time-out. Can’t seize their stolen property. Can’t make them do anything they don’t want to. It’s just like kindergarten all over again, but with booze and drugs. Fortunately each group of five will have a city paid minder. That’ll fix everything.
  • JanS October 10, 2016 (1:56 pm)

    herein lies the problem…the poster above me – BJG – refers to homeless people as “bums” and druggies. There but for the grace of god goes BJG.  No matter what you think of them they are still human beings. Would you categorize our own  poster of many years, MIWS, as a  drug addled bum?   How insulting can this community, that is supposedly “caring and compassionate” as one poster said, with this attitude of lumping them all into one category. 

    As I have said in the past, I have been in this community for 41 + years.  I’m not a stranger as a poster here. I am one, maybe 2 missteps away from being homeless…seriously…and it’s effing scary.  Will I then be a shiftless bum like the rest of them, BJG? While I do not agree with this  program, I think some people need to change their perception a bit. I can honestly say that I have no use for people like BJG, and I doubt they care what I feel. They have no idea what may suddenly befall them and put them in danger of being on the streets, too :(

    Interested  in more about homelessness?  http://www.facinghomelessness.org/rex.html

  • Bonnie October 10, 2016 (3:16 pm)

    True Jan, the homeless are people too and it is true that many of us are one paycheck away from losing it all but having them all take over our parks and sidewalks to camp is not the answer.

  • flimflam October 10, 2016 (4:54 pm)

    that’s weird – anyone vote for the ACLU here? do they have policy making decisions in Seattle? another odd thing – not one of these councilmembers ran a campaign promising to turn over our beautiful parks to the homeless. yet another oddity – do none of these officials know this was tried and failed miserably in Portland? you know, that city just south of here?

  • whitesail October 10, 2016 (6:25 pm)

    JanS.   I must respond.  One can be “caring and compassionate” and of course view the homeless as people, but the fact remains that as a society ALL people are required to follow some modicum of societal rules.   For those who choose not to do so, there are consequences.  Any toddler learns this!  Taxpaying members of society certainly do!  If I do not pick up my dog’s poop in Lincoln Park, there will be fines and consequences.  I am happy to follow this rule to keep the park beautiful and safe for everyone who uses it.  If I dump my trash in my neighbor’s yard, or speed in a school zone, or camp in a state campground without paying the fee, there are consequences!  My family has volunteered with a organization supporting the homeless in and around White Center/Myers Way/SODO for several years.  Yes we have forged personal relationships with individuals in the homeless population, learned their names, listened to their stories.  Yes we care.  But bottom line, actions and decisions have consequences.  Perhaps 5% of the homeless individuals we meet are truly “just down on their luck”, “victims of economic circumstances”, “made a couple missteps”, etc.   These folks will typically make the decision to accept support via the virtual army of volunteers and staff in the public and private organizations that can help them, and are quickly able to move into a stable, housed situation and treatment services if necessary.  The other 95%?  Not so much. They are happy to accept a handout but will become combative and refuse any solution that asks them to follow a rule of any kind.  You can’t make them, as BJG stated above , do anything they don’t want to do which includes following ANY type of rule.  EVERYONE in any type of housing must follow rules!  Supported housing no matter how flexible, even if it has a needle exchange or safe drug use area on site, will come with some modicum of civility and rules.  Shelters have some rules.  Renters and homeowners follow dozens of rules that come with their lease or mortgage.  The fact is that if this population does not want to follow rules of any kind, then they will experience the consequences of that decision.  Why should individuals who refuse to follow any civilized rules of society  be allowed to do whatever the h*** they want to do and live in and trash our city’s parks and public spaces with garbage, needles, broken bottles and the like and engage in their drug habit of choice and engage in fighting, stealing, harassment, prostitution, wherever the h*** they please with no consequences.   NO.  NO camping in our parks and neighborhoods!

  • Double Dub Resident October 10, 2016 (7:05 pm)

    @whitesail  +1

  • flimflam October 10, 2016 (7:11 pm)

    whitesail – thank you and well said.

  • Elizabeth October 10, 2016 (8:28 pm)

    I hope this doesn’t come true……Please, please do not let the homeless in the Parks! Parks are for nature, and animals and for enjoyment.   Unfortunately,

    the majority of the  homeless do have substance abuse problems… And I am sorry for that. 

    BUT… I PAY TAXES. I PAY LISA HERBOLD’S SALARY!   And she is not representing me.   Neither is the Mayor, and I pay his salary too. 

    This is a very sad time in Seattle. 

  • zephyr October 10, 2016 (9:30 pm)

    Thank you, Whitesail  for your
    comment.  Very well stated.  This proposal to disperse this virus of
    rule breakers into our parks and public spaces is beyond belief.  

  • Kelly October 10, 2016 (10:35 pm)

    I am so heartbroken over our city. This is the dumbest idea ever! I know a lot of people seriously thinking of leaving king county, leaving this side of Washington or the state completely and they are not all republicans. I am worried about tourism and business, our children, our safety and well being, I’m worried about my dog stepping on a needle or human waste. The messes and trash are so bad now the trash rates are going up following suit of property taxes. These people need to have laws and regulations and contribute to the community. Clean up their own waste, garbage duty, park maintenance, brush clearing whatever but “just wanting a dry place to smoke weed” isn’t cutting it anymore. There needs to be consequences if these rules are not abided by.  I’m sorry i don’t believe everyone is down on their luck because of property values. The numbers are staggering and the effect on our city and our citizens has reached it’s limit. Citizens used to know what to expect in what areas of the city now it’s the whole city, even into the residential neighborhoods. Citizens have to pay and get a park pass to camp in state parks and clean up their trash and follow camp fire regulations. Citizens of Seattle work hard their whole lives with the dream of getting a water view and they will get water front living at Lincoln Park? and everyone is going to not only pay for it but clean up their messes. This is crazy, Crazy! This city is turning into a place that can be disrespected, a place of irrational entitlement. 

  • alki swimmer October 10, 2016 (10:43 pm)

    I have written to each and every one of the reps (except Tim Burgess) to give them my 2 cents of this ungodly stupid idea.  Schmitz Park is right behind my house, and it is my place of refuge and for bird watching; I don’t want it destroyed with garbage, drug paraphernelia and feces! Perhaps we should collect the needles that we now start finding in our parks and leaving them in the yards of the reps who voted yes…

  • anonyme October 11, 2016 (5:58 am)


  • Jacob Bozeman October 11, 2016 (6:30 am)

    After reading Danny Weastneat’s article on Monday, and learning of this City Counsel’s absurd and potentially catastrophic proposal for my adopted city, it still kept me up all night. So here I am at 5:00 am. Everyone who loves Seattle, must take a day off and/or write in to decry a move that would turn Seattle’s Public Parks and Greenbelts into public camping parks. Un-policable, unenforceable, dangerous, destructive, economically absurd, are just a few of the clear and obvious results and descriptions of this proposal. Can the City Counsel not see, or at least guess, that not only the existing local vagrants will be more than happy to accept these parks as their new, manicured, waterfront bases, but it would turn Seattle into a magnet,drawing even more from Portland to Moscow to Bellingham. The more you offer, the more will come, it is not hard to predict this at all; and is NOT solving the current problem here, but creating a score of new ones. Can this counsel NOT SEE the impossible burden this would place on the police, clean up crews, waste disposal management, and every Park it approves this rule for. The City Parks were not made to, and cannot remotely accommodate public camping. A terrible, absurd, ridiculous idea.

  • KISS October 11, 2016 (7:51 am)

    I’m a life long Democrat but I will absolutely be voting for Bill Bryant and Mark Miloscia.  Drastic times call for drastic measures.   The city council has gone rogue and is destroying the city.   This article says it all:  http://mynorthwest.com/412501/seattle-homeless-crisis-downtown/

    The city council does not care about you unless you are homeless.  If you are not homeless then you should vote for people who will represent you. 



    • Bradley October 11, 2016 (6:03 pm)

      Thank you! I am voting for Bill Bryant, as well. Our Governor and King County Executive could step-in and put a stop to this madness in Seattle (yes, they have that jurisdiction and authority), but are choosing to let us go down with the ship.

  • KISS October 11, 2016 (7:58 am)

    In case you need further proof that the council doesn’t care about you unless you are homeless.  This is no longer a democracy.

    Knife, gun, strangers … sorry, her 1 minute to speak is up

  • Andie October 11, 2016 (9:01 am)

    This is completely insane. I believe we need to create places for the homeless to live—both with shelter like the tiny home near Othello—but I cannot condone unfettered camping in our city parks. The City can barely keep Seward Park clean after families and picnickers leave. There is no way there is enough in the budget to keep parks clean and SAFE for families, children, lone walkers/joggers, etc. if camping is allowed in our parks.

    On a positive note—if allowed, perhaps the greedy developers who are building ugly monstrosities in the neighborhoods around Seward Park will finally flee for more desirable real estate. This move will certainly lower property values within a 5-mile radius of the encampments.
  • KISS October 11, 2016 (9:04 am)

    Please sing this petition if you oppose opening parks, playground areas, and sidewalks to homeless camps.  Nearly 8,000 signatures in just 2 days!


  • MC October 11, 2016 (9:13 am)

    Q13Fox (ugh Fox but no cable – only news channel that comes in on my tv) just did an interview with Mike O’Brien  and basically the council is moving ahead with this provision. The mayor has said he will veto it but the Council has the two thirds majority to over-ride this veto, which is what they plan to do. This is happening without any input from Seattle residents. It is shocking to me that the Council has so little regard for their constituents. With all the national news I think they are counting on everyone being distracted and just pushing this through. This is truly disgraceful. As a woman I find it challenging enough to do evening runs alone through Discovery Park and I also cherish the peace of Lincoln Park, both of which O’Brien points out are targets for this program. Disgraceful! 

  • LAH October 11, 2016 (9:54 am)

    I emailed the city council this morning.  A separate email to Ms. Herbold and sent a message to the Mayor’s office.  There is a public city council meeting on Friday at 9:30am.  If you can go please do.  If you have time take 5 minutes to email the council members and if you have more time call.

    As tax payers, community members and residents that love this city we are getting screwed.


  • dcn October 11, 2016 (12:27 pm)

    It will take an enormous amount of money to

    (a) provide sanitation services for any encampment over 5 people;

    (b) manage the huge bureaucratic nightmare of enforcing all the rules regarding removing/moving homeless campsites;

    (c) pay all the $250 fines to homeless people who find any error with the process mentioned in (b). I can even imagine people exploiting the $250 provision–endlessly camping in inappropriate places to cash in on the fines imposed on the city when part of the process of moving the person to another site is not followed to the letter.

    All the money that this will cost to enforce could be used to provide more helpful assistance to the homeless.

    I’m still floored that this proposal is even being considered. I was hopeful when I heard that the mayor will veto it, but someone mentioned above that the council will have 2/3 majority to overrule him. If this passes, it will make me a single issue voter in the future when it comes to city council members. 

  • Protect our Greenbelts! October 11, 2016 (4:40 pm)

    Campers walking off trails damage fragile native plants and animals. Campers often use live trees for firewood. Allowing camping in the greenbelts contributes to erosion and threatens our native salmon. More undesired effects of this proposal!

    Seattle rents are high. So get a roommate and live in affordable Federal Way. RVs should be ticketed and towed.

  • Mark October 11, 2016 (7:20 pm)

    Littering is against the law.  Treating all citizens alike is needed.  Litterers need to be fined per law, no exceptions

  • flimflam October 11, 2016 (8:47 pm)

    the fact that this approach was an utter failure in Portland means nothing to the grand exalted council?

     does anyone remember voting for the ACLU or recall any public demand to open the parks for this sort of activity? does the council really think people voted for them just hoping for a measure like this? 

  • Denise October 12, 2016 (10:26 am)

    Confused about what natural areas are “restored” and which are not? Here’s a link to the Green Seattle Partnership map which plots all of the plots in the 25 year forest restoration plan. It’s complicated. Realistically, no one outside of the forest stewards will be able to clearly distinguish where camping will be allowed. It’s unworkable. People will camp anywhere and everywhere.


  • Nancy October 12, 2016 (10:28 am)

    I don’t know if this has been posted, but here is the link to a petition entitled “Stop Seattle From Turning Our Parks Into Homeless Encampments”  Please sign before tomorrow’s City Council meeting on the subject! http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stop-seattle-turning-our-parks-into-homeless-camps  

    • WSB October 12, 2016 (10:59 am)

      I believe it’s already in this thread a few times. One reminder: The Council committee (Human Services and Public Health) meeting is Friday, 9:30 am, not tomorrow. While the agenda has just arrived, as of right now, the updated proposal is not yet online. We’ll continue watching for it until it is.

  • Andros October 12, 2016 (12:15 pm)

    Most of this gang needs to be voted out. Starting with Ed Murray. 

    • WSB October 12, 2016 (12:21 pm)

      On two opposing sides of the issue, Councilmembers Tim Burgess and Mike O’Brien (sponsor of the legislation) are both on KUOW right now – http://kuow.org/listen (button at upper right) – 12:20 pm. Don’t know how much longer the segment will last but if you’re interested in the issue, tune in. (added) 12:24 pm – their part of the segment is over. Announcer just said the Friday committee vote’s been postponed – checking on that. The HEARING is still on, vote or no vote, per agenda released this morning. – TR

  • Mark October 12, 2016 (4:28 pm)

    Keep the pressure on the Council.  I’m hopefull that the pressure is facilitating the correct decision that this is a horrendous proposal and needs to be rejected.

  • Denise October 12, 2016 (5:32 pm)

    What infuriates me is the way they have gone about this. Instead of being up front with people, and just saying plain and clear that they were looking at forested parklands to use for homeless camping, they went through this byzantine list of rules and discussions about “suitable” and “unsuitable”. It was deliberately opaque, in my opinion. I just cannot believe that they weren’t planning on using park forests from the beginning. But they clearly admitted it, and now, instead of engaging in a mature discussion about using one of Seattle’s precious natural resources for a human use that will be sure to impact it drastically, and talking like adults about the costs and benefits of using a resource in that way, and how it will impact the environment and people’s lives and future generations,  we’re being dragged into a degenerating, juvenile name-calling and finger-pointing game about who cares more about people and who is simply a “hateful NIMBY”. It’s a ridiculous way to run a city. Only Tim Burgess is talking rationally, about the duty they have to actually RUN the city and manage the resources.

  • Denise October 12, 2016 (5:37 pm)

    I meant to say, “they NEVER clearly admitted it,…”

  • Double Dub Resident October 12, 2016 (5:49 pm)

    Might as well get rid of this “savior”,  $150,000 a year homeless czar while we’re at it. 

    This asinine idea is just inviting lawsuits and even possible vigilantism. 

    So can I get a tax cut since I will no longer be taking my daughter to these vagrant lots that used to be known as our parks 

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