[Hpn] News: Seattle, Washington:City denies tent-city permit

Morgan W. Brown morganbrown@hotmail.com
Fri, 05 Jan 2001 10:55:07 -0500

Below the forwarded article, which may be of interest to you and others whom 
you know, are related Web site URL's -- FYI:


-------Forwarded article-------

Friday, January 05, 2001
Seattle Times
[Washington (state)]
Local News

City denies tent-city permit

by Katherine Long [<klong@seattletimes.com>]
Seattle Times staff

Seattle city officials have denied a request for a temporary permit allowing 
a tent-city encampment of about 100 homeless people to stay at Beacon Hill's 
El Centro de la Raza property.

But residents of the tent encampment had already planned to pull up stakes 
Jan. 15 or 16, because they were trying to be sensitive to their impact on 
the neighborhood, said spokesman Roberto Maestas.
He said several other sites in the city were being considered, but
he was "not at liberty to say" where.

In denying a 6-month temporary permit, "we felt that we simply could not 
approve housing that fails to meet our most minimal housing standards," said 
Rick Krochalis, director of the city's
Department of Design, Construction and Land Use.

The group plans to appeal the decision to a city hearing examiner.
Maestas said the group's legal experts believe the tent city is
constitutionally protected under a citizen's right to assembly.

Homeless people have lived in "Tent Village III" since mid-July.
Before El Centro was chosen for a long-term encampment, the homeless 
residents had put up their tents at a number of other sites around the city. 
The others were short-lived, lasting only a week or two, Krochalis said. The 
El Centro site is the only one in which the property owner tried to get a 
temporary-use permit.

Krochalis said El Centro could be liable for more than $10,000 in
fines, which have accumulated at the rate of $75 a day since August. But 
it's likely the fines will be reduced because "they did try to get a 
permit," Krochalis said.

Maestas said applying for the permit cost the tent residents $2,500, which 
they raised through a car wash.

Even though residents plan to move from El Centro, the group wants to appeal 
because a win would set a precedent for any future tent encampment, Maestas 

The city's 2001-02 budget includes $4 million in new funding for
homeless shelters, housing, rental assistance and service initiatives,
although whether that money could house all the tent-city residents
"is a matter of conjecture," said Deputy Mayor Tom Byers. Many of the 
tent-city residents have argued that shelters don't meet their needs, Byers 
noted. For example, they say, they work for a living and can't make it back 
to a shelter in time to secure a bed for the night.

Between 1998 and today, Seattle Mayor Paul Schell's initiatives have 
contributed to a 20 percent increase in shelter capacity in King County, 
Byers said.

---End of forwarded article---


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
material is distributed without charge or profit to
those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
this type of information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.**


~~~Related Web site URL's -- FYI:

SHARE: Seattle Housing & Resource Effort:


-- Homeless Men & Women Ending Homelessness

WHEEL: Women's Housing Equality & Enhancement League:


Homeless Women's Network:


Real Change News:


-- Puget Sound's Newspaper of the Poor and Homeless

Homeless in Seattle:


Human Services Department: Services for Seattle's Homeless:


Seattle Crisis Resource Directory:


-------End of forward-------

Morgan <morganbrown@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA

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