Chapter 20.47
TEMPORARY HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTS

Sections:

20.47.010    Definitions.

20.47.020    Temporary homeless encampments host permit.

20.47.030    Standards.

20.47.050    Procedural requirements for temporary homeless encampment permit applications.

20.47.080    Enforcement.

20.47.090    Revocation.

20.47.100    Conflict.

20.47.110    No intent to create protected/benefited class.

20.47.010 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply to temporary homeless encampment permits and this chapter:

A.    “Host” means a property owner or local religious organization that hosts a temporary homeless encampment on its property; has an agreement with a managing agency to provide basic services and support for the residents of a temporary homeless encampment; acts as liaison with the surrounding community; and joins with the managing agency in an application for a temporary homeless encampment permit. A host may be the same entity as the managing agency.

B.    “Managing agency” means an organization or property owner that is responsible for organizing and managing a temporary homeless encampment. A managing agency may be the same entity as the host.

C.    “Temporary homeless encampment” means a transient or interim gathering or community residing out of doors on the property of a religious organization or other property owner, with services provided and supervised by a managing agency and host. A temporary homeless encampment is comprised of temporary enclosures (tents and other forms of portable shelter that are not permanently attached to the ground), which may include common areas designed to provide food, living and sanitary services to occupants of the encampment.

D.    The RCW 35A.21.360 definition of “religious organization” is incorporated by reference into this chapter.

E.    The International Fire Code definitions of “tent,” “canopy,” and “membrane structure” are incorporated by reference into this chapter.

F.    “Extended family” means one or two adults and their children, being relatives of one adult resident/host, limited to siblings and their spouses, children of siblings, parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. (Ord. 1872-0715 § 1 (part), 2015)

20.47.020 Temporary homeless encampments host permit.

A temporary homeless encampment host permit shall be required for temporary homeless encampment in the city. Temporary homeless encampments are eligible to be permitted as a secondary use in any zone. Establishing a temporary homeless encampment contrary to the provisions of this chapter is prohibited. If a temporary homeless encampment is established in violation of this chapter, or if after a temporary homeless encampment permit is issued, the permit holder violates this chapter or any condition of the permit, the encampment, its host, and managing agency may be subject to code enforcement pursuant to applicable city codes. (Ord. 1872-0715 § 1 (part), 2015)

20.47.030 Standards.

The following standards shall apply for processing applications for and approving temporary homeless encampments:

A.    A temporary homeless encampment permit for a facility accommodating not more than six individuals, or not more than two extended families comprised of not greater than twelve persons, is allowed outright when the following conditions are met:

1.    The facility is located on the property of a religious organization.

2.    No part of a temporary homeless encampment shall encroach on setbacks between properties, or into a critical area or critical area buffer.

3.    Visual screening from the neighboring properties is required around the perimeter of the temporary homeless encampment, and must meet the screening requirements of Section 20.40.040(E)(1).

4.    Exterior lighting must be directed downward and contained within the temporary homeless encampment.

5.    Children under eighteen that are unaccompanied by a parent or guardian are not allowed in the temporary homeless encampment.

6.    The host shall provide and enforce within said encampment a written code of conduct, which not only provides for the health, safety, and welfare of the temporary homeless encampment residents, but also mitigates impacts to neighbors and the community. The code of conduct shall, at a minimum, prohibit:

a.    Possession or use of firearms, and/or illegal drugs;

b.    Violence;

c.    Open flames within tents;

d.    Trespassing on private property in the surrounding neighborhood;

e.    Littering in the temporary homeless encampment site or the surrounding neighborhood.

7.    The host and temporary homeless encampment residents shall comply with applicable state statutes and regulations and local ordinances concerning, but not limited to, drinking water connections, solid waste disposal, human waste, outdoor fire or burning, electrical systems, and fire-resistant materials.

8.    The host shall provide access to restroom facilities available twenty-four hours a day, access to kitchen facilities for three hours per day, and access to shower facilities at least two times per week. In addition, the host shall ensure there is at all times an adequate source of water for both sanitation and drinking.

9.    The host shall provide a contact to the city and resident who is responsible for ensuring the required standards are met, enforcing camp code of conduct requirements, assisting with rule-making for residents, and providing residents with information regarding available social services.

B.    A temporary homeless encampment permit for a facility accommodating not more than thirty individuals may be permitted administratively for up to seven months, with the option to apply for an extension for an additional seven months, when the following conditions are met:

1.    All conditions listed in subsection A of this section;

2.    The managing agency and/or host shall appoint persons to serve as a point of contact for the Shelton police department. At least one such person must be on duty at all times at an encampment. The names of the on-duty members shall be posted daily and their contact information shall be provided to the Shelton police department;

3.    The managing agency and/or host shall allow inspections of the temporary homeless encampment by Mason County public health, and shall timely implement all directives within the time period specified by Mason County public health. The managing agency and host shall immediately report to Mason County public health suspected food poisoning, unusual prevalence of fever, diarrhea, sore throat, vomiting, jaundice, productive cough, or when weight loss is a prominent symptom among occupants;

4.    The managing agency and/or host shall allow inspections of the temporary homeless encampment by the city’s code enforcement officers, community and economic development officials, and fire marshal. The managing agency and host shall implement all directives resulting from such inspections within forty-eight hours of notice, unless otherwise noted;

5.    The managing agency and/or host shall not allow individuals with active warrants to reside in the encampment. The managing agency and/or host shall advise prospective residents that, with the assistance of the Shelton police department, warrant checks will be run. The managing agency and/or host shall take all reasonable and legal steps to obtain verifiable identification from prospective temporary homeless encampment residents;

6.    The managing agency and/or host shall immediately contact the Shelton police department if someone is rejected or ejected from the temporary homeless encampment if, in the reasonable opinion of the on-duty point of contact or on-duty security staff, the rejected/ejected person is a potential threat to the safety or health of the community;

7.    The managing agency and/or host shall not allow within the encampment any structure, other than tents, canopies, or other membrane structures, that is greater than two hundred square feet or provides shelter for more than nine persons without first obtaining a building permit;

8.    Said encampment shall not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in its vicinity;

9.    The managing agency and/or host shall take all reasonable measures to minimize the possible adverse impacts that the temporary homeless encampment may have on the areas in which it is located;

10.    Required minimum on-site parking for the host site’s permanent/other uses shall not be either displaced by said encampment or used to meet said encampment’s parking requirements, unless a shared parking agreement is executed with adjacent properties to compensate;

11.    Because each temporary homeless encampment has unique characteristics, including but not limited to size, duration, uses, number of occupants, and composition, the community and economic development department shall have the authority to impose conditions to the issuance of the permit for temporary homeless encampments to mitigate effects on the community upon finding that said effects are materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to the property or improvements in the vicinity. Conditions, if imposed, must relate to findings by the department, and must be calculated to minimize nuisance-generating features in matters of noise, waste, air quality, unsightliness, traffic, physical hazards, and other similar matters that the temporary homeless encampment may have on the area in which it is located;

12.    Public Meeting and Notice Thereof. The host and managing agency shall participate in an informational public meeting organized by the city. Notice of the public meeting shall be mailed at least fourteen days before the meeting to (a) owners of all real property within three hundred feet of any boundary of the proposed temporary homeless encampment site; and (b) any neighborhood organization in the vicinity of said site whose contact information is known to or made known to the city. The purpose of the meeting is to provide the surrounding community with information regarding the proposed duration and operation of the temporary homeless encampment, conditions that will likely be placed on the operation of said encampment, the proposed written code of conduct, and to answer questions regarding the temporary homeless encampment; and

13.    Notices required in this section shall be provided by the city on behalf of the applicant.

C.    A temporary homeless encampment permit for a facility accommodating not more than thirty individuals may be permitted on vacant properties within the low-intensity mixed use (MU) or the valley commercial/residential mix (CR-V) zoning districts for up to six months when the following conditions are met:

1.    All conditions listed in subsection B of this section, except that facility is not required to be located on the property of a religious organization;

2.    The managing agency and host shall provide a written indemnification and hold harmless agreement stating that the city is not responsible for the actions, inactions, or omissions of the host, managing agency, or of any resident of the temporary homeless encampment. The managing agency and host shall indemnify, defend, and hold the city, its officials, officers, employees, agents, and volunteers, past and present, harmless from any and all claims of liability of any nature whatsoever for the injury to or death of any person or damage to any property, real or personal, including attorney’s fees, arising out of or occasioned in any manner by reason of the following: (a) the actions, inactions or omissions of the managing agency, host, or any encampment resident; and (b) the city’s lawful entry into the temporary homeless encampment to enforce this chapter;

3.    The managing agency and/or host shall provide a certificate of liability insurance for at least one million dollars pertaining to the temporary homeless encampment and naming the city as the insured. (Ord. 1872-0715 § 1 (part), 2015)

20.47.050 Procedural requirements for temporary homeless encampment permit applications.

Notwithstanding any other provision in the Shelton Municipal Code, the following procedures shall apply in accepting, noticing, reviewing, and otherwise processing temporary homeless encampment permit applications:

A.    Application for Temporary Homeless Encampment Permit. A minimum of sixty days prior to the anticipated start of the encampment, the managing agency and host shall submit jointly an application for a temporary homeless encampment permit to the community and economic development department. The completed application shall contain at a minimum the following information:

1.    The date that the temporary homeless encampment will commence;

2.    The duration of said encampment;

3.    The number of residents to be accommodated on the site;

4.    The host location;

5.    The names of the managing agency and host, with contact information;

6.    Detailed information on how the temporary homeless encampment will comply with the requirements of this chapter and the International Fire Code;

7.    Copy of proposed code of conduct;

8.    Permit application fee, which shall not exceed the actual cost associated with the review and approval of said application; and

9.    Site plan showing at least the following:

a.    Method and location of required screening;

b.    Location of food and security tent;

c.    Method and location of potable water;

d.    Method and location of waste receptacles;

e.    Location of required sanitary stations including toilets and hand washing facility;

f.    Location of on-site parking and number of vehicles associated with the encampment;

g.    General location or arrangement of tents; and

h.    Access routes for emergency vehicles.

B.    If the temporary homeless encampment includes tents or membrane structures in excess of two hundred square feet, or canopies in excess of four hundred square feet, permit and approval for the tent, canopy, or membrane structure shall be obtained from the fire marshal. (Ord. 1872-0715 § 1 (part), 2015)

20.47.080 Enforcement.

A.    Temporary homeless encampments without a valid permit under this chapter are prohibited. Any entity that allows such a nonpermitted encampment on its property, as well as the encampment and its residents, are subject to punishment under Chapters 8.70, 17.08, and 20.56, and as otherwise provided by law, and are subject to abatement, criminal prosecution, injunctive relief, and other forms of relief which the city may seek.

B.    Violations of this chapter are punishable under Chapters 8.70, 17.08, and 20.56, and as otherwise provided by law, and are subject to abatement, criminal prosecution, injunctive relief, and other forms of relief which the city may seek. (Ord. 1872-0715 § 1 (part), 2015)

20.47.090 Revocation.

A.    The city may revoke a temporary homeless encampment permit for any violation of this chapter or of the conditions of the temporary homeless encampment permit where such violation is:

1.    Not cured following notice from the city and an opportunity to cure such violations;

2.    Intentionally or knowingly committed by the managing agency or host; or

3.    So severe as to substantially threaten public health and safety.

B.    Upon revocation of the temporary shelter encampment permit, all residents of the encampment must vacate the premises within forty-eight hours of revocation. The host shall be required to remove all physical evidences of the use and to restore or replant any required vegetation within one week of revocation.

C.    Appeal of the city’s decision to revoke a temporary homeless encampment permit shall be made pursuant to Chapter 17.08. (Ord. 1872-0715 § 1 (part), 2015)

20.47.100 Conflict.

In the event that there is a conflict between the provisions of this chapter and any other city ordinance, the provisions of this chapter shall control. (Ord. 1872-0715 § 1 (part), 2015)

20.47.110 No intent to create protected/benefited class.

A.    This chapter is intended to promote the health, safety and welfare of the general public. Nothing contained in this chapter is intended to be nor shall be construed to create or otherwise establish any particular class or group of persons who will or should be especially protected or benefited by the provisions in this chapter.

B.    This chapter is not intended to be, nor shall be, construed to create any basis for liability on the part of the city, its officials, officers, employees or agents for any injury or damage that an individual, class or group may claim arises from any action or inaction on the part of the city, its officials, officers, employees or agents.

C.    Nothing contained in this chapter is intended to, nor shall be construed to, impose upon the city any duty that can become the basis of a legal action for injury or damage. (Ord. 1872-0715 § 1 (part), 2015)