More Details Available On Everett Pallet Shelter Project As Public Comment Period Opens For Permit Approval

April 29, 2021

Everett

There would be 1 caretaker shelter and 20 for residents.

As the City works to add another option to its tool kit to address homelessness in Everett, Washington more details are emerging on the proposed Everett Pallet Shelter Pilot Community Project.

It’s slated to go behind the Everett Gospel Mission in the 3700 block of Smith Street. The project has created controversy as a No Sit-No Lie ordinance will take effect once it is up and running. The project will require a land use permit and a public works permit.

Here’s the project description from the NOTICE OF APPLICATION AND PUBLIC HEARING AND OPTIONAL DNS SEPA NOTICE issued by the City of Everett Planning Department.

The proposal includes the placement of 20 temporary “Pallet” brand shelters with a potential of expanding that number up to a maximum of 54 shelters to house homeless persons, 1 shelter for a staff site manager, 2 shipping containers for storage, 3 portable toilets, and an 8-foot tall fence surrounding the proposed structures on a 1.5 acre vacant site. The site is just east of the Everett Gospel Mission and will be accessed via 37th Street. Temporary shelters which accommodate more than 12 persons requires a Review Process III involving a public hearing when a modification to the standards are proposed. The applicant requests modifications to EMC 19.08.200 to: 1) exceed the maximum duration and frequency of 4 consecutive months and 6 months per year and 2) eliminate the required minimum number of 5 off-street parking spaces.

The process calls for a public comment period and a public hearing. Here are the details on those.

Public Comment: An application for the proposed project was submitted to the Community, Planning and Economic Development (CPED) on April 21, 2021. Written comments on the application are solicited and must be received at the Community, Planning, and Economic Development, 2930 Wetmore Avenue, Suite 8-A, Everett, Washington by May 13, 2021. Any person may comment on the application and/or attend the hearing and request a copy of the decision once made.

The City expects to issue a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) for the proposal. The optional DNS process is being used under WAC 197-11-355. This may be the only opportunity to comment on the environmental impacts of the proposal. The proposal may include mitigation measures under applicable codes, and the project review process may incorporate or require mitigation measures regardless of whether an EIS is prepared. A copy of the subsequent threshold determination for the specific proposal may be obtained upon request.

Public Hearing: The Review Process III application requires a public hearing and determination by the Land Use Hearing Examiner. The hearing will be held virtually at 9am on June 10, 2021 using Microsoft Teams. For more information on how to attend and participate in the hearing please go to the Announcements Section of the Planning Webpage at www.everettwa.gov/342/planning

One thing that may help give a better understanding of the project is the narrative from the Everett Gospel Mission in their application for the land use and public works permits. You can also see their proposed management plan by clicking the link below.

Pallet Community Management Plan 202104

Pallet Shelter Pilot Project Temporary Use Narrative
1) The proposed temporary use will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare, or injurious to the property or improvements in the immediate vicinity.

EGM is proposing a temporary use of the property due east of our Men’s shelter and Day Center located at 3711 Smith Ave, Everett, WA 98201. The project would utilize a currently undeveloped parcel of land previously used as log storage. Current adjacent properties include the railroad, a moving company storage site, a sheet metal manufacturing site, and a 100 plus bed homeless shelter serving single adult men experiencing homelessness.

The proposed project will assist the city of Everett in relocating individuals experiencing homelessness off of the sidewalks of the Everett Station District and nearby vicinity. It will create a place for these individuals that is safe, stable, and not disturbing the public welfare of the stakeholders of the Everett Station District area. These stakeholders have endured encampments outside their businesses and reduced revenue associated with these unmanaged and unsupported encampments for over a decade.

Research around housing stability and experience of other pallet communities show that when individuals living on our streets are stably housed in a supportive community, crime and drug use are reduce in that area. In many cases the Pallet communities become part of the neighborhood and something the area residents support extending beyond the initial pilot timeline. The pallet shelter used are temporary and do not require construction techniques that have long term impacts to the site they are on. In fact, the pallets could be removed in a day and the site remediated in a short period.

2) The proposed temporary use is compatible in terms of location, access, traffic, noise, nuisance, dust control, and hours of operation with existing land uses in the immediate vicinity.

Location: Since EGM already operates a shelter on the adjacent parcel, this is an ideal location for a pilot pallet shelter project in the city of Everett. Staff and supportive services are already signed up and serving this population in our current shelter. This project will be a small increase in demand for our staff.

Access: The project is accessed directly from the public right-of-way with existing vehicle and pedestrian access. No modification are required to existing means of circulation.

Traffic: No increase in vehicle traffic is anticipated. The target population are currently living on the streets, not in their vehicles so we do not expect any increase from residents. Traffic from staffing will be very limited as well because EGM will be using currently employed staff already coming to our adjacent facility. Security and support personnel will be parking offsite.

Noise: The project is located directly adjacent to insterstate-5 and a highly utilized rail line. Any noise from the site will be drowned out by these loud traffic ways. As mentioned in our Management plan, residents will be asked limit their volume so as not to disturb other residents. Nuisance: The site will be monitored 24/7 by security who will address potential concerns that come up during the duration of the project. The location is not visible from the street and will be fully fenced in so that only authorized people will be on the property. Experience with other pallet project around the county result reduction of negative community impacts.

Dust Control: There is no need for dust control because the occupancy will not lead to the creation of dust.

Hours of operation: The project will be operated 24/7 just like the shelter directly adjacent. There will be curfew implemented and only residents and authorized staff will be allowed on the site. All other adjacent properties are industrial uses and are not occupied outside or regular business hours. Therefore, there will be no negative impact upon adjacent properties during non-business hours.

3) The proposed temporary use is not otherwise allowable in the zone in which it is proposed. Finally, as a temporary outdoor encampment, this project does fall within the allowable use for the zoning, yet the code requires that such a designated use go through the temporary use application process.

Modifications Request:
• 19.05.068.F Frequency and duration of use.
This project is being developed in partnership with and funded by the City of Everett. Currently funding for the project is available until August 31st, 2022. The city of Everett will monitor and evaluate the project and determine prior to that date if it will continue the program. Therefore, we are asking for an extension of the permit to June 30, 2024 to allow the city of Everett to determine how long the project serves it’s needs.

• 19.08.200 #10 off street parking requirement.
The residents being placed in this program will not have cars. The very limited additional staff to support the program can park on the adjacent EGM campus. The requirement for paved off street parking creates an onerous burden upon the budget of this temporary project. For these reasons we are asking that this requirement be waived.

You can click here to see the other documents prepared for consideration of the land use application. Type REVIII21-001 in the Search Box under Land Use Projects then scroll to the bottom of the page for the various document links.



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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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