New county ordinance is very poorly written | Letter to the editor

Posted 5/19/22

The commissioners have been working on an updated homeless ordinance that they are planning to sign into law May 19. This is separate from the great work that Cherish is doing at Mill …

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New county ordinance is very poorly written | Letter to the editor

Posted

The commissioners have been working on an updated homeless ordinance that they are planning to sign into law May 19. This is separate from the great work that Cherish is doing at Mill Road. 

Their new ordinance creates multiple unlimited semi-permanent (540 days) drug camps by: 

Promoting unlimited number of campers at any location:

“The maximum number of residents at a temporary encampment shall be determined by the director taking into consideration site conditions.”

Removing the requirement that, “in no case shall the number be greater than fifty (50) people.”

Director being defined as “Community Development Department Director.” That’s Brent Butler — hired from Seattle planing.

Allowing tent encampments to directly abut private housing by giving the director permission to eradicate the ordinance “buffer” as he finds useful.

Removal of the requirement for a 6-foot fence around the encampment when the director determines such that fencing additional screening would not be needed.

Increasing the length of time an encampment can be in place to 540 days.

“Temporary tent encampments may be approved for a period not to exceed 180 days. The director may grant two additional 180-day extensions.

Removal of requirement to reject sex offenders and active warrants. In addition to the existing lack of restriction for drug dealers and drug addicts. 

Is this what Port Townsend wants? Unlimited drug dealers and addicts being provided for within our tri-state area? 

This ordinance has been very poorly written with no protections for its inhabitants or limitations on numbers of people and drug trafficking in multiple mega encampments?

Jane Seymour
PORT TOWNSEND

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  • Dcc

    Jane, you have managed to sound condescending and uninformed at the same time. Please point to some shred of evidence, other than your personal fears, that camps for people without housing are breeding grounds for "drug trafficking". Do you envision scores of homeless people selling drugs to tourists downtown? What kind of drugs do you imagine people would be making at these camps? As far as drug usage, I imagine you also might be inclined to self-medicate if you found yourself without housing.

    Thursday, May 19 Report this

  • boatfixx

    @DCC, was not the homeless camp at the fairgrounds not ample evidence of what happens? Drug dealing, overdoses, fires, Death, and neighbors who were besides themselves with homeless wanderers lurking in the dark peeping in windows, and stealing garden tools, bikes, and the like?

    And, what about the current state of the homeless camp? Fires, complaints of harassment, and trash by people who simply want to use the adjacent trail.

    You know, we all want the truly needy to receive the help necessary to help them up. And those whose help needs to be full-time then so be it. Nevertheless, it is necessary to cull out those who maintain the homeless life style by accepting the enabling environment which is being maintained and managed by those we currently have elected to office. Such ones need to not only think, and act with their heart, but with their minds as well.

    However, this proposed ordinance is now answer, and simply feeds more moneys into the Homeless Industrial Complex, and solves nothing

    Friday, May 20 Report this