Yes. The City will participate in the evaluation and selection of the facility operators.
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King County purchased and now owns the Silver Cloud Inn with the intent of establishing a HTH facility. The City of Redmond did not purchase this building.
No. King County’s purchase of the Silver Cloud Inn was a private real estate transaction and did not require the City’s approval. King County consulted with the Mayor and city staff regarding its intention to purchase the Silver Cloud Inn consistent with the terms of the state enabling legislation (House Bill 1070). Housing is an allowed use in this location, and the City is supportive of regional solutions to housing for all. The County will be required to obtain a building permit to change the occupancy of the Silver Cloud Inn from a hotel use to the HTH use.
As a HTH facility, this location will provide emergency housing and permanent supportive housing units for people experiencing chronic homelessness. This will not be an overnight shelter but will be full-time housing. This will not be a safe injection site or a rehabilitation center.
The City recognizes that homelessness is a regional crisis that cannot be addressed by a single city on their own. Therefore, Redmond is one of many cities in the region supporting King County as a partner in a regional solution. Redmond’s role will include processing permits and providing public safety just as the City does throughout Redmond. In addition, the City will participate in the evaluation and selection of the operation and service providers, and referral of residents through our Homelessness Outreach Program. The City will advocate for our community so that this program can be effective for those experiencing homelessness while maintaining public safety, economic stability, and allowing everyone in our community to thrive.
Yes. The RZC permits the shelter/housing use at the Silver Cloud Inn location. The zoning is Overlake OV-1 (RZC 21.12.040), which permits Health and Human Services uses outright. These uses are a subset of Education, Public Administration, Health Care. and Other Institutions consisting of Ambulatory or Outpatient Services; Nursing, Supervision, and Other Rehabilitation Services; Social Assistance, Welfare, and Charitable Services; Day Care Centers; and Family Day Care Providers. Social Assistance, Welfare, and Charitable Services is defined in the RZC as the provision of social assistance services, including shelters, directly to individuals in need.
In spring 2021, King County informed the City that they were actively exploring locations in Redmond and in late May 2021, Redmond was made aware of the County’s intent to purchase the Silver Cloud Inn. As this was a private real estate transaction, it was kept confidential, as requested. Redmond first became aware of this potential type of program early in the 2020 legislative session. The City has continued to follow this since the State Legislature passed House Bill 1590 in 2020, which allowed jurisdictions to enact a 0.1% sales tax to finance construction of affordable housing and behavioral health facilities and operations or services supportive of affordable housing residents. In 2020, Executive Constantine proposed, and the County Council approved, this dedicated sales tax. In 2021, the State Legislature passed House Bill 1070, which clarified acquisition of property as an eligible use of these funds.
The HTH use is a legal use in Redmond and fulfills a need for housing for all. During the last legislative session, a new law (House Bill 1220) was passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Inslee which preempts the City’s authority to prohibit transitional housing or permanent supportive housing in any zones where residential dwelling units or hotels are allowed. This article helps explain House Bill 1220 and its impact on communities - MRSC - Changing Your Zoning Code to Accommodate Housing and Shelters for the Homeless. As a result, the City is playing a supporting rather than a lead role in the program rollout. The City of Redmond values being a welcoming community that is committed to promoting a variety of housing choices for all and meeting the housing needs of people who require supportive services, including those experiencing homelessness. The City’s commitment to supportive community services can be reviewed on the Redmond THRIVE webpage at www.redmond.gov/Thrive. In addition, the City has recently completed a comprehensive Housing Action Plan, available here, which outlines the need for housing for all income levels. Individuals experiencing homelessness live among us now, in bushes and cars throughout our community. Redmond is committed to progressively meeting the humanitarian crisis that faces us in partnership with King County.
No, the City did not seek out a HTH facility in Redmond.
City Council was made aware of the new legislation supporting this type of program through a variety of 2020 and 2021 legislative updates by the City’s lobbyist. Mayor Birney called each of Redmond’s seven City Council members on Tuesday, July 6, to notify them of the County’s purchase and intended use of the Silver Cloud Inn in Redmond.
Yes, there are homeless people in Redmond. It is hard to quantify how many homeless individuals are from Redmond because some may be accessing services and shelter throughout King County. One source of data is the King County Point-in-Time (PIT) Count which is conducted annually and includes information on the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals by subregion. The most recent count was conducted in 2020. At that time, there were 586 individuals residing in emergency shelters in East King County, which is the subregion where Redmond is located. This represents 9% of King County’s sheltered homeless population. There were 446 unsheltered homeless individuals in East King County, which represents 8% of the King County total. Regional data for individuals who have a serious mental illness and/or substance use disorder is on page 98 of the PIT report. The City of Redmond’s homeless outreach administrator serves an average of 180 homeless or unstably housed individuals each year. Current clients with direct ties to Redmond area (employment, family, services, supports, etc.) equals 64.
Neither the purchase of this property nor the permit application requires community outreach. Mayor Birney did request that the County voluntarily conduct outreach to the neighboring businesses (completed business outreach on 7/7/21 and a virtual business meeting on 7/9/21), to contact major city partners (completed on 7/7/21), and to hold a community meeting (held on 8/2/21) to provide more details on the project to the community.
The City will provide the same public safety to this neighborhood, building, and residents as it provides to the entire community. People are encouraged to call 911 or the non-emergency public safety number at 425-556-2500 should they see something unsafe.
The City will provide the same policing and uphold the same safety protocols regarding drugs and alcohol as is provided throughout the community. HTH residents will be considered tenants under Washington State landlord/tenant law and as such will have specific rights with regards to their leased space, which are consistent with the rights all tenants have throughout the city. King County will provide a code of conduct that residents must agree upon to remain housed at the facility.
King County and the City jointly hosted a virtual community meeting on Monday, August 2, from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Presenters shared information and answered questions about the County’s purchase of the Silver Cloud Inn, though due to the large number of questions received, not all were able to be answered. The meeting is available to view here. This City FAQ and the County’s HTH FAQ answer a representation of the types of questions received at the meeting.
The City passed ordinance 2911 in 2018 which prohibits camping and storage of personal property in parks, public spaces, and on publicly-owned property when overnight shelter space available.
: An interim official control puts temporary regulations in place in response to an emergent situation.
a. Under the code in effect when the Silver Cloud was purchased, the use proposed by the County was permitted outright in the OV-1 zone where the hotel is located. The County would have been required only to apply for an administrative modification under RZC 21.76.090.D and a building change of use permit under the International Building Code.
b. Under the interim official control, the City takes advantage of the authority granted under state law to require owners and operators of permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, emergency housing, and emergency shelters to enter into an occupancy agreement that describes the maximum occupancy, the owner and operator contact information, staff training, staff to client ratios, roles and responsibilities of staff, program rules and code of conduct, a safety and security plan, description of the eligibility and referral process for residency, and a parking management plan. The interim official control memorializes the County and City commitment to work collaboratively to adopt an operating agreement that will support the successful deployment of a permanent supportive housing use at the prior location of the Silver Cloud in Overlake. In addition to the new requirement for an occupancy agreement, the County will still be required to apply for an administrative modification under RZC 21.76.090.D and a building change of use permit under the International Building Code
Yes, under RCW 36.70A.390, the City Council is required to hold a public hearing within 60 days of the adoption of the interim official control at which time they will affirm or amend the findings of fact that support the original adoption. During its consideration of the interim official control on August 17, the Redmond City Council set the required public hearing for October 5, 2021. The Planning Commission will be working to develop permanent regulations and will hold a public hearing before transmitting its recommendation to the City Council for adoption of permanent regulations in Q1 2022. The Planning Commission work plan schedule will be posted on the City website when it is available.