Chapter 18.59


18.59.010    Intent.

18.59.020    Temporary uses.

18.59.030    Temporary use permit requirements.

18.59.050    Homeless encampments.

18.59.010 Intent.

The intent of this chapter is to regulate certain temporary uses of property which are not otherwise regulated, beyond business registration, by other city ordinances or regulations.

(Ord. O2007-017, Added, 12/18/2007)

18.59.020 Temporary uses.

Temporary uses that shall be regulated are as follows:

A.    Carnivals, street fairs and outdoor holiday celebrations;

B.    Seasonal sales of items such as Christmas trees, flowers, fruits, and vegetables;

C.    Temporary outdoor food and drink events, which may include food trucks or trailers;

D.    Homeless encampments allowed in all zone classifications subject to the criteria and requirements listed under TMC 18.59.050.

(Ord. O2019-020, Amended, 11/19/2019; Ord. O2007-017, Added, 12/18/2007)

18.59.030 Temporary use permit requirements.

The community development director may issue a temporary and revocable permit to allow a temporary use for a period not to exceed ninety days in any twelve-month period, excepting therefrom food trucks or trailers, which are allowed to operate for a calendar year and then reapply for a new temporary use permit. The community development director, or designee, shall consider the following:

A.    The use should be consistent with the permitted uses in the zone district;

B.    The use will not result in significant traffic, parking, drainage, fire protection, or other adverse impacts beyond a reasonable comparison to those uses already permitted within the zone district in which the use is proposed to locate;

C.    The use must provide sanitary facilities if the health department finds it necessary;

D.    The use must not protrude into the public right-of-way unless the public right-of-way is legally temporarily closed;

E.    The use may not produce or create a nuisance as defined in TMC Chapter 8.04.

(Ord. O2019-020, Amended, 11/19/2019; Ord. O2011-002, Amended, 03/01/2011; Ord. O2007-017, Added, 12/18/2007)

18.59.050 Homeless encampments.

A.    Who May Apply. Homeless encampments shall be permitted only as an accommodation of religious exercise by a host agency and sponsoring agency. Each host agency and sponsoring agency shall jointly apply for a permit under this section and shall jointly certify compliance with all applicable requirements for approval and conditions of this chapter and the application.

B.    Applicable Procedures. A homeless encampment permit is an administrative determination. In addition to the requirements for administrative determinations found elsewhere in this code, the following additional procedures apply:

1.    Advance Notice Required. The sponsoring agency shall notify the city of the proposed homeless encampment a minimum of thirty days in advance of the proposed date of establishment for the homeless encampment. The advance notification shall contain the following information:

a.    The date the homeless encampment intends to encamp;

b.    The length of encampment;

c.    The maximum number of residents proposed;

d.    The host location; and

e.    The names of the host and sponsoring agencies.

2.    Public Meeting Required. The sponsoring agency shall conduct at least one public information meeting within, or as close to, the neighborhood where the proposed homeless encampment will be located, a minimum of two weeks prior to the issuance of the temporary use permit application. The time and location of the meeting shall be agreed upon between the city and sponsoring agency. All property owners within three hundred feet of the proposed homeless encampment shall be notified by mail a minimum of fourteen days in advance of the meeting by the sponsoring agency. In lieu of notice by mail, and with the approval of the city of Tumwater, an alternative means of notice may be provided that is reasonably calculated to notify the neighboring property owners within three hundred feet of the proposed encampment. These time periods may run concurrently with the time requirements in subsection (B)(1) of this section.

3.    Signs Required. The applicant shall provide notice of the application within the same timeframe identified above by posting two signs or placards on the site or in a location immediately adjacent to the site that provides visibility to motorists using adjacent streets. The director shall establish standards for size, color, layout, design, working, placement, and timing of installation and removal of the signs or placards.

C.    Homeless Encampment – Criteria/Requirements for Approval. The community development director or designee may issue a temporary and revocable permit for a homeless encampment subject to the following criteria and requirements:

1.    Site Criteria.

a.    If the sponsoring agency is not the host agency of the site, the sponsoring agency shall submit a written agreement from the host agency allowing the homeless encampment.

b.    The property must be sufficient in size to accommodate the tents and necessary on-site facilities, including but not limited to the following:

i.    Sanitary portable toilets in the number required to meet capacity guidelines;

ii.    Hand washing stations by the toilets and by the food areas;

iii.    Refuse receptacles; and

iv.    Food tent and security tent.

c.    The host and sponsoring agencies shall provide an adequate water source to the homeless encampment, as approved by the city.

d.    No homeless encampment shall be located within a sensitive/critical area or its buffer as defined under TMC Title 16.

e.    No permanent structures will be constructed for the homeless encampment.

f.    No more than forty residents shall be allowed. The city may further limit the number of residents as site conditions dictate.

g.    Adequate on-site parking shall be provided for the homeless encampment. No off-site parking will be allowed. The number of vehicles used by homeless encampment residents shall be provided. If the homeless encampment is located on a site with another use, it shall be shown that the homeless encampment parking will not create a shortage of on-site parking for the other use(s) on the property.

h.    The homeless encampment shall be located within one-quarter mile of a bus stop with seven days per week service, whenever possible. If not located within one-quarter mile of a bus stop, the sponsoring agency must demonstrate the ability for residents to obtain access to the nearest public transportation stop (such as carpools or shuttle buses).

i.    The homeless encampment shall be adequately buffered and screened from adjacent right-of-way and residential properties. Screening shall be a minimum height of six feet and may include, but is not limited to, a combination of fencing, landscaping, or the placement of the homeless encampment behind buildings. The type of screening shall be approved by the city.

j.    All sanitary portable toilets shall be screened from adjacent properties and rights-of-way. The type of screening shall be approved by the city and may include, but is not limited to, a combination of fencing and/or landscaping.

2.    Security.

a.    An operations and security plan for the homeless encampment shall be submitted to the city at the time of application.

b.    The host agency shall provide to all residents of the homeless encampment a code of conduct for living at the homeless encampment. A copy of the code of conduct shall be submitted to the city at the time of application and shall be in substantially the following form or address the following issues:

i.    Possession or use of illegal drugs is not permitted.

ii.    No alcohol is permitted.

iii.    No weapons are permitted.

iv.    All knives over three and one-half inches must be turned in to the encampment manager for safekeeping.

v.    No violence is permitted.

vi.    No open flames are permitted, except within a common cooking facility if approved in advance by the fire department.

vii.    No trespassing into private property in the surrounding neighborhood is permitted.

viii.    No loitering in the surrounding neighborhood is permitted.

ix.    No littering on the homeless encampment site or in the surrounding neighborhood is permitted.

Nothing in this section shall prohibit the host agency, sponsoring agency or encampment manager from imposing and enforcing additional code of conduct conditions not otherwise inconsistent with this section.

c.    All homeless encampment residents must sign an agreement to abide by the code of conduct and failure to do so shall result in the noncompliant resident’s immediate and permanent expulsion from the property.

d.    The sponsoring agency shall keep a log of all people who stay overnight in the encampment, including names and birth dates, and dates of stay. Logs shall be kept a minimum of six months.

e.    The sponsoring agency shall take all reasonable and legal steps to obtain verifiable ID, such as a driver’s license, government-issued identification card, military identification or passport from prospective and existing encampment residents.

f.    The sponsoring agency will use identification to obtain sex offender and warrant checks from the Washington State Patrol.

i.    If said warrant and sex offender checks reveal either (1) an existing or outstanding warrant from any jurisdiction in the United States for the arrest of the individual who is the subject of the check; or (2) the subject of the check is a sex offender, required to register with the county sheriff or their county of residence pursuant to RCW 9A.44.130, then the sponsoring agency will reject the subject of the check for residency to the homeless encampment or eject the subject of the check if that person is already a homeless encampment resident.

ii.    The sponsoring agency shall immediately contact the police department if the reason for rejection or ejection of an individual from the homeless encampment is an active warrant or if, in the opinion of the on-duty designated representative or the on-duty security staff, the rejected/ejected person is a potential threat to the community.

g.    The sponsoring agency shall self-police and self-manage its residents and flatly prohibit alcohol, drugs, weapons, fighting, and abuse of any kind, littering or disturbing the neighbors while located on the property.

h.    The sponsoring agency will appoint a designated representative to serve “on-duty” at all times to serve as a point of contact for city of Tumwater police and will orient the police as to how the security tent operates. The names of the on-duty designated representatives will be posted daily in the security tent. The city shall provide contact numbers of nonemergency personnel which shall be posted at the security tent.

3.    Timing.

a.    The duration of the homeless encampment shall not exceed one hundred eighty days.

b.    No additional homeless encampments may be allowed on the same parcel of property in any twelve-month period beginning on the date the homeless encampment locates on a parcel of property.

c.    No more than one homeless encampment may be located in the city at any time.

4.    Health and Safety.

a.    The homeless encampment shall conform to the following fire requirements:

i.    There shall be no open flames permitted, with the exception of propane heating within a common cooking facility if approved in advance by the fire department;

ii.    No heating appliances within the individual tents are allowed;

iii.    A common tent may provide community cooking facilities and services including cooking appliances for the camp, if approved by the host agency, the health department, and the fire department. No cooking appliances are allowed in individual tents;

iv.    An adequate number and appropriate rating of fire extinguishers shall be provided as approved by the fire department;

v.    Adequate access for fire and emergency medical apparatus shall be provided. This shall be determined by the fire department;

vi.    Adequate separation between tents and other structures shall be maintained as determined by the fire department; and

vii.    Electrical service shall be in accordance with recognized and accepted practice. Electrical cords are not to be strung together and any cords used must be approved for exterior use.

b.    The sponsoring and host agencies shall permit inspections by city staff and the Thurston County health department at reasonable times without prior notice of compliance with the conditions of this permit.

5.    Director’s Decision.

a.    Purpose. The director shall review the proposal for compliance with the provisions of this chapter and all other applicable law; to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the city are preserved; and to provide an expedient and reasonable land use review process for decisions and interpretations of this chapter.

b.    Director Authority. The director may modify the submittal requirements as deemed appropriate.

c.    Notice of Decision. The director shall notify the sponsoring and host agencies of his or her decision to approve, modify or deny the application within a timely manner, but not prior to fourteen days after the public meeting.

6.    Termination. If the sponsoring agency fails to take action against a resident who violates the terms and conditions of this permit, it may result in immediate termination of the permit. If the city learns of uncontrolled violence or acts of undisciplined violence by residents of the encampment and the sponsoring agency has not adequately addressed the situation, the temporary use permit may be immediately terminated.

7.    Revocation. Upon determination that there has been a violation of any approval criteria or condition of application, the director may give written notice to the permit holder describing the alleged violation. Residents of the encampment shall be notified of the revocation notice by the sponsoring agency within two days of receipt of the notice from the director. Within fourteen days of the mailing of notice of violation, the permit holder shall show cause why the permit should not be revoked. At the end of the fourteen-day period, the director shall sustain or revoke the permit. When a temporary homeless encampment permit is revoked, the director shall notify the permit holder by certified mail of the revocation and the findings upon which the revocation is based. Residents must vacate the site within forty-eight hours from the receipt of the notification. Appeals of decisions to revoke a temporary encampment permit shall be to Thurston County superior court.

(Ord. O2011-014, Amended, 12/20/2011; Ord. O2011-002, Amended, 03/01/2011; Ord. O2007-017, Added, 12/18/2008)