The Mayor's Bully Boys are at it again. Nickelsville, the pink survival encampment that left West Seattle last week to set up on Indian-controlled land in Discovery Park, has been served notification by the Department of Planning and Development that lets the city have it both ways. Encampment protocols apply up to the point where they become inconvenient to the city, and after that, DPD takes over.
Apparently, tents are "structures" and fall within the purview of zoning and land use requirements. This enables the city to levy heavy fines against all Nickelsville "organizers, volunteers, and residents" unless they agree to go away and never come back, anywhere.
A list of individuals and organizations that the City has identified with Nickelsville includes the Interfaith Task Force on Homelessness, the Seattle chapter of Veterans for Peace, a youth shelter in the U-District, all current residents, and "all John Doe(s) and Jane Doe(s) who are otherwise responsible for the violation." Those named by the city are individually being held responsible for fines of $150 daily, and $500 after 10 days. They are also being held responsible for any future encampment within city limits, so those fines could add up.
Not that anyone will actually pay them. This is an intimidation strategy designed to scare away allies and potential hosts. The odds of faith community organizers Bill Kirlin-Hackett and David Bloom, for example, being held responsible for thousand of dollars in fines for the high crime of asking the Mayor for a meeting seem remote at best.
The relationship between the city's intimidation strategy and actual protocols on homeless encampments is murky, but they seem to be making it up as they go along. This isn't hardball. This is goofy golf.