Seattle is considering new camping rules

Feb 1, 2017, 7:24 AM | Updated: 7:25 am
Seattle camping rules...
The City of Seattle is considering new rules for homeless encampments. (AP)

The City of Seattle has tossed around rules for dealing with unauthorized homeless encampments before. Officials are at it again with a new set of Seattle camping rules under consideration.

As with past Seattle camping rules, the new ones under consideration include a set of definitive terms, and procedures on how to deal with those terms. The core issue is the same, however: how does the city deal with unauthorized homeless camps on public property? How long are such camps allowed to stay? How to clean them up? And what to do with personal property picked up from those sites?

Related: Seattle mayor sends emergency order for three new authorized homeless encampments

Of particular note:

• The city aims to establish “emphasis areas” which are sites where camping is prohibited and the city has removed an encampment in the past. The city will not be allowed to have more than 10 emphasis areas at a time.
• Campsites that are considered obstructions or hazards will be removed immediately.
• Campsites will have at least 72 hours notice that it must pack up and move, and the city must not take more than seven days to clear a site once notice is given.
• Trash, debris, and waste need no notice to be removed from an encampment.
• Personal property obtained at the campsites will be held for 60 days before being discarded or donated. The city will not store personal property that is considered hazardous, for example, needle-strewn tents, or wet bedding materials.
• Personal property includes items such as bikes, radios, eyeglasses, prescription medication, photographs, jewelry, crutches, etc. But the proposed Seattle camping rules state that building materials are not included in the personal property definition, such as wood products, pallets or rigid plastic.
• Outreach teams must visit an encampment at least once between the time notice is given and the site is cleared.

Seattle camping rules

In 2016, the ACLU drafted similar rules which the city council accepted and considered. But councilmembers didn’t get far after the mayor’s office came in with its own procedures and plan for the homeless crisis. More specifically, Mayor Ed Murray proposed his Pathways Home program which is currently in the setup process. He also announced his Bridging the Gap plan for the interim. That plan is to establish authorized encampments for homeless individuals.

More recently, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the city over its handling of private property from homeless encampments.

The city is currently accepting public comment on the proposed regulations which span four documents. Public comment will be accepted until Feb. 15, 2017. Seattle residents can email frances.cammaniego@seattle.gov, or send mail to:

City of Seattle
Department of Finance and Administrative Services
Attention: Frances Samaniego
P.O. Box 94689
Seattle, WA 98124-4689

Local News

Kathryn Stone

Oregon kidnapping suspect taken into custody after standoff

Law enforcement officials were able to determine that Foster had been accessing dating applications on his phone.
1 day ago
Friends kitchen...
Micki Gamez

The Friends Experience pop-up opens in Seattle on Feb. 1

The FRIENDS Experience invites fans to step inside the world of the iconic series, relive their favorite moments, and celebrate the show.
1 day ago
dead road rage...
L.B. Gilbert

Greenwood road rage fight involved knife, baseball bat

Police are investigating a road rage incident involving a bat and a knife in a QFC parking lot in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.
1 day ago
The logo for OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, appears on a mobile phone, in New York, Tuesday, Jan. 31...
Associated Press

Cheaters beware: ChatGPT maker releases AI detection tool

ChatGPT is trying to curb its reputation as a freewheeling cheating machine with a new tool that can help detect if artificial intelligence wrote it
1 day ago
lake stevens...
L.B. Gilbert

Case dismissed against Lake Stevens HS employee accused of sexual misconduct

A Lake Stevens School District employee is under arrest after being suspected of improper sexual contact with at least one child.
1 day ago
bristol bay...
L.B. Gilbert

Bristol Bay salmon runs protected as EPA halts mine development

The EPA won a 12-year battle for a cleaner habitat by taking big steps to protect Bristol Bay salmon runs, the most productive in the world.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Seattle is considering new camping rules