The Seattle City Council lent support Tuesday to locating three new, authorized homeless encampments in Georgetown, in Licton Springs and on Myers Way South.
The location of a meeting in Georgetown has been updated.
The three new, authorized homeless encampments Mayor Ed Murray wants to open in Seattle won support Tuesday from the City Council.
The council adopted a resolution ratifying the emergency orders that Murray is using to site the encampments of tents and tiny houses in Georgetown, in Licton Springs and on Myers Way South.
There are already authorized encampments in Seattle — in Ballard, Interbay and Rainier Valley. Those opened after the council in March 2015 passed an ordinance allowing up to three.
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The mayor is establishing three more without changing the ordinance and skipping various other hurdles by exercising the special powers he gave himself in November 2015, when he proclaimed a state of emergency over homelessness.
Before ratifying Murray’s orders, the council added language making it clear that the new, authorized encampments will be held to some of the same standards as the existing ones.
The operators will, for example, be required to set up community-advisory councils, prepare maintenance plans, remove garbage regularly and provide toilets.
Murray announced the locations (1000 S. Myrtle St. in Georgetown, 8620 Nesbit Ave. N. in Licton Springs, and 9701 Myers Way S.) on Dec. 1.
There were informational meetings in December in each of the three neighborhoods.
To publicize those meetings, the city phoned community leaders and emailed 60 to 70 community activists, according to George Scarola, Murray’s homelessness director.
The leaders and activists were identified by the city’s Department of Neighborhoods.
There will be another round of meetings, according to Murray’s office, including:
• 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at a Georgetown Community Council meeting, 6737 Corson Ave. S.
• 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at a Myers Way Community Council meeting, 9401 Myers Way S.
Meetings with South Park and Licton Springs groups are still being scheduled.
Though Georgetown residents have some concerns about how the encampment in their neighborhood will be run, they’ve mostly said they want to welcome the occupants, said Matt Pearsall, Georgetown Community Council secretary.
Chris Gorski, who lives in Georgetown, praised Murray’s intentions but objected to the locations chosen.
“Sites were chosen to rock the fewest boats, but hiding the homeless from the city’s population at large does nothing to help them,” he said.
He continued, “People are open-minded and big hearted in our neighborhood, but wary of how the city will follow up.”
The Licton Springs encampment will have minimal entry requirements in order to better serve people with substance-abuse and behavioral disorders.
Lee Bruch, a neighbor active in Licton Springs, said he worries about the encampment being close to a public-schools campus scheduled to open soon because it would serve drug users but force them to use off-site.
Bruch said he would like to instead see drug use allowed inside the encampment, with professional help made available to people suffering from addiction.
Some neighbors protested the locations of the first three encampments, but the opposition has mostly died down since they opened.