• SDOT removing Lake City planters live after businesses complain of human waste

    By: Deedee Sun

    Updated:

    Lake City businesses say a group of homeless people is turning planter boxes into beds, sidewalks into toilets and scaring away customers.

    Both a business and someone who is homeless said the city came and offered services to the group living there but most refused.

    Now the Seattle Department of Transportation has plans to remove the planters where a group of homeless people appear to live.

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    Businesses are hoping it'll help disperse crowds and reduce the human waste problem.

    “They can be agitated and aggressive,” said Majid Namini, a shopper.

    “It’s always kind of nerve-wracking,” said Sarah Denton, another shopper.

    Lake City shoppers are frustrated with the group of homeless people who seem to have taken up residence in planters near the Grocery Outlet and Lake City post office.

    “If you don't give them what they want sometimes they get kind of angry and sometimes they will just scream at you,” said Paul Heistand, another shopper.

    The Lake City Grocery Outlet owner, Mike Sandberg, said it's a problem he's been dealing with for months, and he's losing customers.

    “I've had numbers of customers come up to me and say, 'Love to shop at your store but I won’t come back because I don't feel safe, I can't bring my children,'” Sandberg said.

    He says an even bigger problem is the human waste.

    “The residents here were pooping on the sidewalk, behind Papa Murphy’s and the stairwells back there and creating a health hazard,” Sandberg said.

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