Feb 32016 Ms an a Agenda
DRAFT TEXT of CAMP PERMIT LETTERDear Mayor Hales,As you prepare to issue a permit for the homeless camps in the Overlook Neighborhood, the XXXX Neighborhood Association hopes you will incorporate some reasonable requirements that will improve the health and safety of campers and neighborhoods.City officials and homeless advocates have said they hope to open similar camps in every neighborhood, more than 100 of them citywide, using the Hazelnut Grove camp as a model. We also recognize that this is a complicated issue and with legitimate concerns for those who live indoors as well as those outside. It is therefore imperative that we get this first one right.With that goal in mind, we request that the permit include: The number of campers in a single location be capped at 30-40 persons [dependent on location] at any given time and monitored by City staff, including Portland PD.Your office and Hazelnut Grove camp representatives have said that such a cap is your intent. Anything larger could be difficult to manage safely (be that internally managed or otherwise). Each camp will draw up a code of conduct to be reviewed and approved by the city. Residing in the camp will require residents to agree to and sign the code of conduct as a contract.Creating a space that is safe for residents of the camp as well as neighbors is good for everyone and has the potential to give residents a vested interest in positively contributing to their neighborhood. Within this framework there are a few things in particular that we would like to see as well That camps elect a representative to speak for them at neighborhood association meetings. SE Uplift, for example, functions this way. Any resident can join the meetings but there are representatives that speak for the neighborhood as a whole. Obviously all members of a camp would be welcome at such meetings. Assuming that camps have general meetings: that there be allowed at least one non-voting neighborhood representative. That this code of conduct will include a plan for ensuring that those with sex-offences are registered as would be required as in other residences while also recognizing that these camps could be residences for those fleeing domestic abuse, etc. and that campers have a right to a certain degree of privacy as any other citizen. Maintaining a physical buffer between the camp and adjacent properties.A single regular entrance/exit is necessary for a number of reasons: Allows the community to maintain a safe and secure space for their property and persons. By only having one entrance this can help encourages residents and visitors to respect surrounding habitat and landscaping. Preserving privacy for all residents of the area, both those in the camp and those in adjoining properties. Any violation of the permit will be grounds for revoking the permit.The city should be upfront with the campers that it is serious about the conditions spelled out in the permit and will not tolerate straying from them. Flexible end-date.Allowing locations to be used temporarily and then determining if they are ideal locations for long term projects. In addition to having the above requirements included in the permit, we also request that the City commit to: Removing waste, trash and recycling from the site at least weekly. Meeting with the appropriate neighborhood association to discuss options prior to selecting a site for a new camp. Clearing the site of all semi-permanent wooden structures, tents, camper belongings and waste left behind after one week of the expiration of the camp permit. Portland faces a significant challenge with homelessness. If we work together we can find real long-term solutions. In the short term, however, we must all work with an assumption of good-faith on the part of others and a framework of mutual respect. We thank you for adopting these reasonable restrictions.Sincerely,XXXXXXXXX
Please keep the comments relative to the blog subject matter. Advertising will be deleted.