The Bellevue City Council voted 4 to 3 on July 16 to adopt a land use code amendment that sets parameters on homeless shelters.
Under the new rules, a shelter must provide toilet, bathing, sleeping, laundry and storage facilities and front desk staff during operating hours. The shelter must also have a mailroom and privacy areas such as lactation rooms and counseling rooms, depending on the needs of the population served.
Also listed under the “minimum requirements” section is the provision of WiFi access and a “dedicated electrical outlet for every occupant of a permanent bed.” Shelters cannot exceed 100 occupants.
If there are plans to serve more than 50 people at the site, the shelter should be located within one mile of a public transit stop and farther than half a mile from other homeless services permitted under the LUCA.
The new rules provide two paths for homeless services applications. The default is a conditional use permit, a process that allows decision makers to attach requirements to a permitted use. Applicants can also ask for a development agreement, which is negotiated directly with the city.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC
Check out the full July 25 - July 31 issue.
Real Change is a non-profit organization advocating for economic, social and racial justice. Since 1994 our award-winning weekly newspaper has provided an immediate employment opportunity for people who are homeless and low income. Learn more about Real Change.