For those of you following homeless issues, tent cities, etc., Seattle is looking to modify its land use policy to facilitate the establishments of encampments for homeless person on private and public property. This is the link to the notice, but since I'm not good at picking up and forwarding links, I have cut and pasted the notice itself below.
Pursuant to SMC 25.05.340 and WAC 197-11-340
The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is proposing to amend the Land Use Code (Title 23) to permit transitional encampments for homeless individuals to locate as an interim use on sites owned or operated by the City of Seattle or private owners for a period of up to six months, and within the following zones: Industrial zones, Downtown zones, except for Downtown zones defined as residential, Seattle Mixed zones, Commercial 2 (C2), Commercial 1 (C1), Neighborhood Commercial 3 (NC3) and Neighborhood Commercial 2 (NC2) zones. The proposal includes the following requirements:
· Create a ”Type 1” Master Use Permit (non-appealable and not subject to public notice) that would have a six month term (compared with the existing 4 week limit on Type 1);
· Require a minimum of 12 months after a transitional encampment permit has expired before a new permit on the same site could be issued;
· Allow maximum of 100 occupants and require 100 square feet of land per occupant
· Require a plan to address site management, maintenance and security;
· Require compliance with the same health, safety, and inspection requirements that have been
established for encampments on sites owned or controlled by religious organizations;
· Establish parking requirements for encampments if they are not located on sites owned or controlled by religious organizations ( 1 space for each vehicle used as shelter and 1 space for each 2 staff members on-site at peak staffing times); various exceptions to parking requirements in the existing Code would apply;
· Encampment use must be located at least 50 feet from any residentially zoned lot – sites may be closer than 50 feet to residentially zoned lots if encampment is set back at least 50 feet and landscaping, fencing or similar buffer is added;
· Sites must be 7,500 square feet in area or larger;
· Site must be located within one-half mile of a transit stop;
· Sites must be located at least one-half mile from any other site with a permitted transitional encampment use;
· Encampment use must be located outside of wetland, wetland buffer, steep slope, steep slope buffer, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas (includes area w/in 100’ of shorelines) regulated by the City’s regulations for Environmentally Critical Areas;
· Encampment use cannot displace or occupy an area that is used to meet required code provisions for an existing permitted use, such as area for required parking or setbacks;
· Community outreach requirements to give neighbors advance notice of encampments, together with specific operations standards to be implemented by operators of each encampment, would be added by Director’s Rule; authority to make specific rules would be added to the Code.
After review of a completed environmental checklist and other information on file, DPD has determined that the amendments described above will not have a probable significant adverse environmental impact, and has issued a Determination of Non-Significance under the State Environmental Policy Act (no Environmental Impact Statement required).
How this might affect the Ballard neighborhood I don't know yet but I think this is a change that will allow the City to put up a tent city on property in an industrial zone owned by the City or on private property. This zoning issue was the hang up for creating the tent city in the SODO neighborhood last year.