Pierce County Council proposes safe overnight parking for homeless RVs

Two Pierce County councilmembers are spearheading a new effort to establish safe parking sites in unincorporated areas.

The measure would allow those experiencing homelessness to park their cars overnight in lots across the county, but with restrictions in place on how many sites would be allowed on either religious or commercial property.

All sites would need to meet a set of criteria, including establishing public meetings to discuss neighborhood concerns, and sites would be monitored by a site operator.

This is the second time this legislation has been proposed. The first version was vetoed by the Pierce County Executive, who cited concerns about the legislative process that ended with the law being passed by a partisan 4-3 vote in the County Council.

Council Chair Derek Young and Councilmember Ryan Mello announced Friday they are proposing the new bill. It is nearly identical to the vetoed ordinance, but with one major difference. This version proposes a limited-duration pilot program which would end Sept. 30, 2022.

Young said the intent is to replace the pilot program with permanent regulations following review and analysis by the county’s planning department.

Funding for the safe parking sites would be reallocated from money the council previously committed to the Pierce County Human Services Department for temporary homeless shelters.

The new proposed ordinance is set to be introduced at the May 10, 2022, Pierce County Council meeting.

You can read more details on the original proposal that was vetoed here.