We’ve just come back from the City Clerk’s office, where we filed a claim. We filed for “Declaratory Judgement” as to whether the Land Use Code, the Building and Construction Codes, and the Health and Safety Codes – all part of the Seattle Municipal Codes, apply to the SDOT property at 7116 West Marginal Way (current site of Nickelsville). We filed with a “Permanent Injunction” requiring the City to move the encampment. This asks the court to clarify if that parcel of land exists outside of existing laws governing the entire City, and if it’s not, then we ask that the courts order the city to move the encampment. Our application was submitted with photos and maps documenting the encampment and the specific locations of activity in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. We expect to hear back from them in 3-4 days with a claim number and confirmation, and then there is a 60 day wait period. If we don’t hear back, it opens the door to a lawsuit, which cannot be filed until this claim has been submitted… so the wheels of legal action are starting to turn, as of today.
Our petition has been signed by over 200 people, and is the number one issue City Council is hearing about from citizens right now- it is this type of political pressure that seems to carry more weight than any legal action. We hope to keep increasing the signatures until Wednesday’s Committee meeting. If you send it around, please note that it can be signed anonymously if anyone would prefer that.
We also strongly encourage anyone who can to attend the Committee meeting on Wed, public comments will be towards the beginning, so you don’t have to commit the entire 2 hours to it, just from 2 to 2:30 or so, and I think signing up to speak is first come/first serve, and happens about 15 minutes prior to the meeting. The main thing to point out, for us- is that we would prefer a move out date before the summer- whereas the City and Food Lifeline’s move out date is probably closer to the fall. We need to explain why that difference is important for our neighborhood. The other important thing to point out is why this is a bad location for a permanent encampment- proximity to services being a huge reason. If this becomes permanent, they will bring in water and make the site a more livable and healthy space for encampment, complete with over-site and management-so those are moot points.
We will be discussing next steps at our monthly HPAC meeting, which is this Wednesday night, at 7 pm at the Highland Park Improvement Club on 12th and Holden.