Hoquiam Hosting Public Hearing on Ordinance for Homeless Encampments

The City of Hoquiam Planning Commission will host a public hearing this evening to take public testimony on proposed amendments to the city’s zoning code regarding homeless encampments which, among other things, places a limit of 90 days on them.  City Administrator Brian Shay invites you to comment, “What will happen from that public hearing is that at some point in time the planning commissioner will make a recommendation back to the council to either adopt the ordinance that was presented to them, to have no rules at all, or to revise the ordinance.” Shay added, “It will then go back to the city council who will have another public hearing and then ultimately it will be up to them to adopt whatever ordinance they decide to adopt.”

The proposed changes to Title 10 of the Hoquiam City Zoning Code would also require 30 days notice from a religious organization that was seeking to host a camp no larger than 40 people on their own property. It would also restrict that site to no permanent structures for the homeless, but would require portable toilets and hand washing stations, as well as a food and security tent on the site.

The amendments also set up guidelines for religious organizations to place on their guests, including no illegal drugs, alcohol, or weapons. The host agencies are also required to I.D. and keep a log of everyone who stays overnight – including names, birthdates, and dates they stayed.

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The meeting will begin at 5:30 PM in the City Council Chambers of the Hoquiam City Hall, 609 Eighth Street, Hoquiam, WA 98550 on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.