JASON RANTZ

Seattle leaders move forward with encampment after saying they weren’t

May 25, 2018, 7:00 AM

homeless, encampment...

Despite claiming there have been no definitive decisions made on a low-barrier tiny home village in South Lake Union, the City of Seattle applied for a permit to house up to 305 homeless people, who will be allowed to bring drugs and alcohol onto the site.

This is the latest move suggesting the City of Seattle and Mayor Jenny Durkan has covered up their actual intentions.

A flyer was circulated to hand-picked businesses and community leaders in South Lake Union saying the Tiny Village site “will happen” this summer and they’d have a meeting on May 31 to discuss it. When asked about the meeting over a dozen times, Seattle officials repeatedly refused to confirm the meeting to me or KIRO 7’s Linzi Sheldon.

Only after I broadcast the office number and email address for the spokesperson of the city’s Human Services Department did they confirm the meeting. Then they claimed they jumped the gun and that the site has not been definitively decided on.

Not so fast.

The city has fenced off the parking lot and filed a permit to house a — wait for it — tiny village encampment. That seems rather odd considering that officials claimed “…there are no definitive plans for this or other sites for additional tiny house or other type of permitted villages until the City has done community outreach, review of the site, and the Mayor presents a budget plan to City Council.”

When asked about the premature permit, Meg Olberding with the city told KIRO 7 in an email:

“…there are many logistics that need to be in place should a village site move forward. Securing a site to maintain safety with fencing and posting a notice for permitting are just two of those steps; some others are referred to in the site plan you attached. The community meeting is also part of the process.”

I don’t buy this. Neither should you. And none of their past actions have indicated they’re not fully committed to this Tiny Village, despite community opposition (which they’d know if they actually spoke to us prior to deciding on the site).

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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