TRANSITIONAL HOUSING VILLAGE APPROVED

Pat’s Place has officially found a home

Laura Jean Schneider  ljschneider@ptleader.com
Posted 10/13/21

 

 

A highly contested temporary housing village to be managed by Bayside Housing & Services was approved by the city of Port Townsend.

“It was a decision based on …

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TRANSITIONAL HOUSING VILLAGE APPROVED

Pat’s Place has officially found a home

Volunteers from the Community Build Project joined efforts this year to construct a series of “wooden tents” that will be used by Bayside Housing and Services to provide transitional housing in the Eisenbeis Addition.
Volunteers from the Community Build Project joined efforts this year to construct a series of “wooden tents” that will be used by Bayside Housing and Services to provide transitional housing in the Eisenbeis Addition.
Photo courtesy of Judy Alexander
Posted

 

 

A highly contested temporary housing village to be managed by Bayside Housing & Services was approved by the city of Port Townsend.

“It was a decision based on criteria,” said Director of Development Services Lance Bailey.

In the conclusion of the summary and decision document, posted on the city’s website, he wrote the “six- to eight-month temporary use would have no significant impacts on adjacent properties” if all criteria were met.

The decision was based on the project application, including the site plan, code of conduct, and operations plan.

Bailey said late last week that neighbors and others had been told of the decision.

“Anybody who has standing, that we know of, has been informed,” Bailey said.

“I’ve gotten a couple of comments, but not a lot,” he added.

Bayside has acquired a lease to the vacant lot sandwiched between Ninth and 10th streets, the future site of Pat’s Place, for the  temporary, transitional housing situation for up to 20 people.

Seventeen “wooden tent” dwellings, plus two additional buildings to provide kitchen, bathroom, and shower facilities, will be placed on site for a period of 180 days, with the possibility of a 60-day extension.

Notable additional conditions to the project’s permit state that Bayside must submit “an irrevocable, signed, and notarized statement” giving the city permission to enter the Bayside property with reasonable notice.

Included in the decision document is a comment from Port Townsend Police Chief Thomas Olson.

The chief’s feedback on the land-use proposal was favorable overall, stating, “The site plan seems reasonable based on what I have seen on the property.”

“The code of conduct will be the key to the success of the village,” Olson added. “I have seen a number of these in Seattle and the ones that strictly enforce the code of conduct are the ones that are successful.”

He further noted that having personnel/security onsite 24 hours would be useful, which is a requirement of the revised agreement.

Bailey noted that the revised code of conduct should include “no loitering in the surrounding neighborhood,”  and the installation of a perimeter fence.

One recreational vehicle may be permitted for use by Bayside staff at the site, but no other tarps, tents, or campers will be allowed.

The project’s 10 conditional requirements, which are available online, stress the need for Bayside “to be responsive to comments by neighboring residents, businesses, and service providers such as Jefferson Transit.”

The formal notice of decision states Bailey reserves the right to terminate the agreement if Bayside is not in compliance.

The temporary-use application for the village was originally submitted June 30, the first of its kind submitted to the city.

On July 2, the city received all fees associated with permit from Bayside, and the Community Build Project hosted an open house for the public to tour the wooden tents July 30.

While the appeals period was open, the city received more than 220 comments from concerned community members about the proposal.

Critics raised concerns about crime, substance use, the village’s proximity to elders and children, and plummeting home values if the project was approved; advocates said transitional housing was needed as winter sets in, and stressed compassion and inclusion for marginalized community members.

The distribution of three different fliers at the time of commenting was noted in the summary document, which states, “None of the fliers were created or distributed by the city or applicant.”

Bayside Housing was allowed to review comments for clarity. Afterward, the nonprofit submitted several revisions along with additional information.

Changes to the original proposal included the restriction that all occupants of Pat’s Place be adults unless a minor is housed with an adult parent. Stays will be limited to 90 days, and residents must exit promptly at the end.

No overnight guests will be allowed, and all visitors must be either family members or members of supporting agencies. Visiting hours will begin 10 a.m. and all guests must be off-site by 8 p.m.

According to a fact sheet provided by Bayside, the neighborhood is zoned high density multi-family residential, zoning which specifically encourages affordable housing and does not permit single-family dwellings.

Pat’s Place will provide transitional housing until Bayside can obtain funding to build 24 affordable two-bedroom apartments on the site. The nonprofit  has a two-year lease with option to purchase the property.

“I really don’t know what the full costs are to put in the infrastructure,” Bailey said.

“Their grading and street development permits have been submitted,” he added.

Bailey noted the organization’s history of providing needed housing in the area.

“Bayside has shown success with existing programs,” he said. “This is obviously a step up.”

“The new staff have been really responsive,” Bailey said, adding that “it was very helpful that they were engaged in the process.”

Written appeals to the city about the decision will be accepted through Thursday, Oct. 21.

View the complete document at cityofpt.us/development-services/page/lup21-051-bayside-housing-tent-encampment-decision.

Comments

4 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Jo Palance

No mention of the fact that Bayside is going to be charging these people 20% of their income, to sleep in a lawnmower shed?

Also, Keister wants to build two bedroom affordable housing on that site? Affordable for whom?

Wednesday, October 13
Sandra Stowell

I am delighted to know that this transitional housing will be available this winter. These tiny homes will be insulated, heated bedroom for carefully selected members of those in need of shelter. Residents of the new village will make a commitment to cooperate, follow rules, and seek long term housing. It is a good plan.

These tiny wooden bedrooms are not sheds: they are sturdy, insulated, and will have heat, light, and basic furnishings. They provide dry, safe space to those who do not have that. They provide a measure of privacy and a place to secure belongings. This has value.

I do NOT know what the rental requirements will be, BUT if those residents with Social Security or other income will pay rent to help cover utilities and other costs, this seems appropriate. Moving from sleeping rough or relying entirely on friends or relatives requires resuming economic responsibilities, among other things.

I think it wonderful that at least some of the many people in need of shelter will find it at Pat's Place.

Wednesday, October 13
Jeff Gallant

Who knew it was so easy?

Wednesday, October 13
Jeanne Helms

The rules for the encampment include *no heaters* in the tiny sheds. How are these people supposed to keep warm this winter?

Wednesday, October 13