So not only did we just get kicked out of cal, they want us out of our new space too. I really can’t catch a fucking break can I? Fuck you “City of Seattle” I’m not doing this shit again y’all just gone have to kill me. pic.twitter.com/2Qq1GgADUh
— zion (@zion_1312) January 7, 2021
Seattle Parks says notices left with homeless campers at Capitol Hill’s Miller Playfield apply to only a portion of the city property and aren’t part of a full sweep of the encampments.
The notices left at encampment sites on the north lawn area require the area to be cleared by January 11th.
A parks representative said the area needs to be cleared for construction work of a solar microgrid project at the Miller Community Center.
Campers impacted are being notified that they must move personal property or it will be removed to a city collection site. The notice also provides information on shelter resources in the city.
The notice comes three weeks after police led a city sweep of encampments and activists from Cal Anderson. CHS reported on how encampments have grown in other Capitol Hill parks including Miller following the December sweep.
UPDATE 7:10 PM: Seattle Parks has released a statement on the situation:
In late December 2020, City Light requested the HOPE team’s assistance in notifying those living in nearby encampments about the project for their awareness only. At that time there were no tents or structures in the construction area or the construction staging area, and therefore no request for anyone to relocate. On Dec. 28, the project contractor erected construction fencing in preparation for work to begin on Monday, Jan. 4. Over the past weekend, a handful of tents were erected within that safety zone, prompting the notification.
In order to allow a Seattle City Light contractor access to the construction area for the Miller Community Center microgrid project, and to ensure the safety of individuals living unsheltered nearby, today the City posted notices for personal property to be removed from the affected area by Monday, January 11. The posted area currently includes six tents.
Outreach has been engaging those in the construction area and will be supporting individuals as they relocate out of the park’s work-zone area. Seattle Police will not be onsite, and will only be called if there is dangerous illegal activity.
At Miller Playfield, the City has increased its purple bag program and litter clean up, and hopes to expand outreach in the coming weeks.
The Miller Community Center microgrid project, which will provide backup power storage for the community center during emergency events, such as a windstorm or unplanned power outage, has been in development for several years. Seattle City Light awarded the contract in June 2019. Construction was supposed to begin in fall 2020, but was delayed due to COVID-19.
UPDATE 1/12/2021 10:00 AM: Tents and belongings have been removed from the construction area:
All tents have been moved from area of construction. A few campers appear to have left parks property but at least one new large shelter added with a party rental style tent. Area looks stable tho harsh conditions with rain. Also checking on issue with center’s washroom access https://t.co/Lm28Z0Pcwi
— jseattle (@jseattle) January 12, 2021
Meanwhile, Seattle Parks has shut down the community center’s public restroom:
Crews were struggling to regularly clean the restroom at Miller because people were refusing to leave when staff came to clean. We have closed the restroom for now and have installed a sanican to provide restroom access. Sanican will be cleaned and restocked regularly.
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