Kent considers ‘no camping’ ordinance as partial solution to homeless issues

Oct 4, 2022, 3:58 PM | Updated: 4:14 pm
Green River homeless encampment (KIRO 7 TV)

Could Kent be the next western Washington city to ban camping as a way to address its homeless problems?

The city council has discussed the proposal, but appear to be at a crossroads.

Ordinance introduced after Green River encampment was removed

The move comes just months after a large homeless encampment was removed outside Kent city limits.

The proposal aims to keep encampments away from businesses and homes along the Green River. King County authorities removed 52,000 pounds of trash and debris in its latest cleanup effort.

MyNorthwest reached out to Kent Mayor Dana Ralph’s office for comment, but has yet to hear back.

Final vote in mid-October

The proposal was introduced Tuesday to the Operations and Public Safety Committee, with a final vote expected in mid-October. The ordinance begins with: “Camping on public property that is not designated as a campground creates dangerous public health and safety conditions and prevents these areas from being used for the purposes for which they were intended.”

The proposal also requires the city to provide assistance to individuals (who) seek alternative shelter and to store belongings.”

The city of Edmonds recently passed a similar ban. A “no camping” ordinance is also under consideration in Tacoma.

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Kent considers ‘no camping’ ordinance as partial solution to homeless issues