A Seattle lawmaker wants to condemn a city-owned park with a large homeless encampment next to a courthouse and declare the area a public safety hazard or nuisance property.
Under the proposal by King County Councilman Reagan Dunn, King County would acquire the park from the City of Seattle and request that Executive Dow Constantine relocate the park’s dozens of residents to transitional or permanent housing, provide additional security, and fix damage to the park, the Seattle Times reports.
The proposal came after the fatal stabbing on June 17 of a 31-year-old man in the park. Seattle police Sgt. Randy Huserik, a spokesperson for the department, said police responded to 100 calls for service at City Hall Park between April 13 and June 20 — including assaults, robberies, warrant arrests and public disturbances.
“The City of Seattle has no one to blame except for themselves for failing to abate the nuisance and keep that area safe,” Dunn said.
“People have the right to a safe county courthouse and we shouldn’t have to fight this hard for it.”
The adjacent King County Courthouse belongs to the county and taking over City Hall Park would allow it to be policed by the King County Sheriff’s Office instead of the Seattle Police Department, he said.
The state law would require the county to pay the city fair value for the property, Dunn said.