The Edmonds City Council at its Tuesday night meeting is scheduled to continue its discussion regarding a proposed ordinance that would make it illegal for those who are homeless to occupy public property when overnight shelter is available and subsequently refused.
In a presentation to the council last week, city attorney Patricia Taraday of the Lighthouse Law Group sasid the ordinance allows police to cite individuals only if two conditions are met: 1) When available overnight shelter exists and 2) when that available shelter has been offered and refused.
The ordinance includes updated language to reflect a concern from Councilmember Will Chen that it should apply to anyone who is unlawfully occupying public property, and not only those who are homeless.
Creation of the ordinance was sparked by an incident in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood last summer, when a woman took up residence on a bench located at 76th Avenue West at the Interurban Trail for several months with all her belongings.
Taraday told the council last week that the ordinance was drafted “after much collaborative work” with the Deputy Parks Director Shannon Burley, who oversees the city’s human services program, and Police Chief Michelle Bennett and her staff.
While violating the ordinance would be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or 90 days in jail, it includes a provision that the court can order anyone unable to pay to instead perform “community service or work crew in lieu of a monetary penalty.”
The council is also scheduled to:
– Hold a public hearing on amendments to city code regarding residential occupancy, which are aimed at addressing the requirements of Senate Bill 5235. The state legislation lifts caps on the number of unrelated people allowed to share a home, and also lifts prohibitions on renters residing on lots with accessory dwellings.
– Hear a Buildable Lands Report and Initial 2044 Growth Targets presentation provided by Steven Toy, principal demographer with Snohomish County.
– Award the construction contract for the Highway 99 Gateway-Revitalization Stage 2 Project to Westwater Construction Company. The company’s low bid of $6,632,644 came in higher than the engineer’s estimate of $5.23 million, a possibility that Acting Public Works Director Rob English noted during a presentation last month to the council’s Parks and Public Works Committee. The scope of improvements include the installation of a raised landscaped median with mid-block left-turn pockets — replacing the center left-turn lane — plus gateway signs at the north and south ends of the city limits. There will also be a pedestrian-activated HAWK signal 600 feet north of 234th Street Southwest — similar to the one now installed on Highway 104 near City Park — aimed at making highway pedestrian crossings safer.
– Award contracts to three firms — Centennial Contractors Enterprises, Forma Construction and Saybr Contractors — that responded to a request for proposals to work with the city’s job order contracting program. The program will permit the quick engagement of contractors in performing small- to medium-sized public works projects.
– Approve a request to purchase a screenings conveyor for the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
– Consider a proposal to amend city code to provide “a clear and efficient process” for permitting special events.
The hybrid meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the council chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N. Prior to the 7 p.m. meeting, the council will meet at 6 p.m. for two items: considering a resolution adopting the council’s Rules of Procedure and interviewing a candidate for the Edmonds Sister City Commission.
Those wishing to join the 7 p.m. meeting virtually to provide audience comments can click on or paste the following Zoom meeting link into a web browser using a computer or smart phone: https://zoom.us/j/95798484261. Or comment by phone: US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 957 9848 4261
Regular council meetings beginning at 7 p.m. are also streamed live on the council meeting webpage, Comcast channel 21, and Ziply channel 39.
The link to the 6 p.m. hybrid meeting, also available via Zoom, is here: https://zoom.us/j/95798484261. Or join by phone: US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 957 9848 4261.