Nickelsville is on the move again after just two weeks at 1351 S. Dearborn St., a stopgap location where residents awaited city approval to move to a sloping greenbelt in the International District.
Nickelsville had planned to move to 1010 S. Dearborn St., a property owned by Coho Real Estate Group, on Sept. 1.
Instead, while the encampment negotiated with the city over a temporary use permit, it occupied another site.
The land at 1010 S. Dearborn St. is unstable, according to Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD). The department was reluctant to issue a temporary use permit given the area had seven landslides going back to the 1900s, according to DPD spokesperson Brian Stevens.
Nickelsville has agreed to only use a portion of the hillside and take some steps to avoid washing the dirt away. DPD has asked Nickelsville to lay hay in areas to slow water flow from heavy rain and has restricted the encampment to the western portion of the slope.
“It’s an area of much less risk,” Stevens said. “The further east you go, the worse it gets.”
While residents, who call themselves Nickelodeons, and DPD officials were negotiating, the encampment settled on the greenbelt owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation.
Nickelodeon Charlotte Theresa Kahaloa said she hopes to stay at the new location for a while.
“I don’t like to move every three months,” Kahaloa said. “That’s not good for me.” The residents have now reunited at a single location after being separated for a year (“Back together,” RC, Aug. 27). Late last summer, the city of Seattle evicted the encampment from a site on West Marginal Way near West Seattle.
After the eviction, the camp settled on three different sites in Seattle’s Central District and Skyway. One of the branches closed because of a conflict between residents and Nickelsville organizers.
Nickelsville had been operating as two encampments at different sites in the Central District. Each encampment had met the deadline for length of stay at its respective site and needed to move.
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church will host the reunified encampment. To operate in Seattle, tent cities need a religious organization to serve as host. Encampments can stay on a single piece of property for six months, with the possibility of a six-month extension.