Councilmember proposes condemning City Hall Park, citing public hazard

SEATTLE — King County councilmember Regan Dunn proposed condemning City Hall Park on Tuesday, introducing legislation to condemn the park as a threat to public health, safety and welfare.

City Hall Park, located next to the King County Courthouse in Seattle, has seen several recent high-profile cases of assault and murder, where the park hosts a large homeless encampment.

Recent incidents include a man stabbed to death, a dog kicked to death and a photographer that was attacked and robbed.

“King County employees should be able to return to work without fearing for their lives, plain and simple. While I have sympathy for those who are experiencing homelessness, there is nothing compassionate about looking the other way and letting violence against people of all walks of life continue,” Dunn said. “These dangerous crimes are not being committed because of homelessness — they’re being committed by criminals who are allowed to flourish without any repercussions.”

160 out of 220 employees of the courthouse have had concerns about their safety, with two to five reports per week of assaults on employees.

Dunn’s proposal seeks to acquire the condemned property and repurpose it as a meeting or event space for the courthouse, and requests the county to seek other housing options for the current residents.