The Ballard Urban Rest Stop is on track to open in June, now that its future operator, the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), has hurdled a legal challenge.
In December, John Davis and Ethan Van Eck filed an appeal with the city of Seattle Office of the Hearing Examiner contending that if the new hygiene center opened, the neighborhood would be “significantly affected by the noise, odors, increased criminal activity, inadequate parking facilities and traffic, and general incompatibility of this institutional use in their neighborhood,” according to the complaint.
Ballard’s Urban Rest Stop will be the third in Seattle, and it will be located on the bottom floor of LIHI’s new senior housing complex in Ballard. LIHI already operates Urban Rest Stops on Ninth Avenue downtown and in the University District.
Other organizations host hygiene centers across the city.
The site is two blocks north of Ballard’s Market Street and just down the road from the Ballard Public Library, but the block is zoned residential.
Davis and Eck argued in their appeal that the city’s approval of the project was wrong and should be reversed.
The hearing examiner upheld the previous decision to grant the permit, with some conditions. The center must comply with its “Ballard Urban Rest Stop Good Neighbor Policy Plan,” distribute the plan to adjacent neighbors and post the plan on the exterior of the building.
The Urban Rest Stop must also provide a staff person to monitor noise levels around the building.
The Ballard Urban Rest Stop will have showers, washers and dryers to serve up to 100 people a day. With the appeal out of the way, LIHI can begin preparing the space and can open by June, if not earlier, said executive director Sharon Lee.
The project in Ballard has support from advocates for homeless people and some business organizations, including the Downtown Seattle Association and Smart Growth Seattle, a developer-backed organization that promotes building density.