[Hpn] Nimbyistic residents of Bothell sue church to attempt to prevent helping homeless

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Tue, 18 May 2004 03:43:04 -0400


Monday, May 17, 2004

Bothell sues church over tent city


BOTHELL -- Responding to complaints from residents, the city of Bothell has
filed suit against a local church, seeking to prevent the relocation of a
"tent city" of homeless persons on church grounds.
"The City of Bothell has regulations that it must uphold according to the
Bothell Municipal Code," said Interim City Manager Manny Ocampo in a news
release. "This lawsuit is a tool to help send the message to St. Brendan
Church and Bothell citizens that the City of Bothell will do everything it
can to ensure all land uses are in compliance with the Bothell Municipal
Opposition from residents of this northeast Seattle suburb prompted King
County officials to move the proposed site of Tent City 4 from a
park-and-ride lot to St. Brendan's, a few miles away. Tent City residents
had already begun moving in when news of the law suit broke Monday
Despite a week of controversy, it was donations of bread, pillows and
blankets rather than protests that greeted a few dozen homeless people as
they set up at the church.
The location was more palatable to many, though some people said they were
concerned because the Roman Catholic church is near three schools.
The suit, which was scheduled to be filed today in King County Superior
Court, seeks a preliminary injunction against the church. At issue is
whether the church is in violation of a Bothell city law that requires
"campgrounds" to undergo a permit process.
St. Brendan's officials have told the city that the church is proceeding
with the encampment under the authority of the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000, said Ocampo. The act eases city
zoning restrictions on religious institutions.
The encampment was known as Tent City 3 most recently while in Seattle's
Lake City neighborhood.
Tent City 4 -- the latest in a series organized by Seattle Housing and
Resource Effort and the Women's Housing, Equality and Enhancement League -- 
is expected to have about 100 occupants by next week.

On the Net:
City of Bothell: http://www.ci.bothell.wa.us/

St. Brendan: http://www.saintbrendan.org/

101 Elliott Ave. W.
Seattle, WA 98119
(206) 448-8000

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