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File #: 2021-0272    Version: 1
Type: Motion Status: Lapsed
File created: 7/20/2021 In control: Local Services and Land Use Committee
On agenda: Final action: 2/1/2023
Enactment date: Enactment #:
Title: A MOTION requesting the executive establish rules or guidelines for encampment removal on public property in King County, and to develop a report.
Sponsors: Reagan Dunn, Kathy Lambert
Indexes: King County, Property
Attachments: 1. 2021-0272 SR_EncampmentMotion, 2. 2021-0272 SR_EncampmentMotion 11-30-2021, 3. 2021-0272_ATT2_AMD1
Staff: Ngo, Jenny


Clerk 07/12/2021


A MOTION requesting the executive establish rules or guidelines for encampment removal on public property in King County, and to develop a report.


                     WHEREAS, the county is responsible for maintaining public properties under county ownership or interest in order to meet the needs of the entire community, and

                     WHEREAS, camping on public property, including erecting tents and temporary structures, is a public safety and health concern that interferes with and obstructs the intended use of the land, and

                     WHEREAS, camping on public property is a public health concern when inadequate access to sanitation and hygiene facilities increases the risk and spread of infectious diseases to unhoused individuals and the broader community, and

                     WHEREAS, the homelessness crisis continues to grow in the county, resulting in increased use of public spaces for camping, and

                     WHEREAS, the county and its partners are working to provide access to permanent and safe housing for all residents, including unsheltered individuals, through various programs and funding mechanisms, and

                     WHEREAS, the immediate impacts of homelessness is not being addressed through county programs, and

                     WHEREAS, interim measures are needed to address the immediate public health and safety impacts of unauthorized encampments for both unsheltered persons and the broader community, and

                     WHEREAS, the county has not established uniform standards for encampments on public property and when removal of encampments is appropriate;

                     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT MOVED by the Council of King County:

                     A.  The council requests that the executive establish county rules or guidelines related to removal of encampments on public property including specific consideration of public health and safety risks, and develop a report that summarizes any changes.  The county rules or guidelines should address:

                       1.  Standards for health and safety conditions that warrant clearing or removal of an encampment.  At minimum, the standards should address the following conditions:

                         a.  unsanitary environments resulting from the prevalence of untreated sewage or biohazardous waste;

                         b.  conditions that cause exposure risk to shigella, hepatitis A, COVID-19 and other infectious diseases;

                         c.  fire hazard risk due to items within the camping site or the camping site's proximity to nearby structures and flammable materials;

                         d.  verified reports of violence, arrest and criminal activity in the camping site;

                         e.  obstructed rights of way, including sidewalks or roads, used to meet accessibility requirements; and

                         f.  impeded operations to playgrounds, schools, fire protection or police services;

                       2. Conditions for when clearing or removal of encampments is prohibited, such as when there is not a suitable overnight shelter with available space that can accommodate individuals, and that considers the availability of nearby housing and drug treatment facilities;

                       3.  Procedures for providing notice and comment and conducting outreach to encampment occupants;

                       4.  Procedures for the storage, inventory and retrieval of personal property;

                       5.  Identification of which county agencies would be engaged and a training for plan for county employees engaged in the clearing or removal of an encampment; and

                       6.  A process for coordinating county navigation or outreach teams to assist in the transition of encampment residents.

                     B.  The executive should electronically file the summary report, as well as any necessary legislation to further the implementation of encampment clearing standards, no

later than October 30, 2021, with the clerk of the council, who shall retain an electronic copy and provide an electronic copy to all councilmembers.