Everett City Councilmember Paula Ryhne Provides Response To Proposed Shelter At Hope Church Location In Her District

April 10, 2023

Everett Government

Shortly before 5:00 PM this afternoon (4/10) Everett City Councilmember Paula Rhyne sent MyEverettNews.com a written response to questions asked last Thursday regarding the plan by Snohomish County to purchase a church at 4502 Rucker and convert it to an emergency shelter. The location of the proposed shelter is within City Council District 2 which is represented by Councilmember Rhyne. It should also be noted that Paula Rhyne’s full time job is Legislative Aide to Councilmember Megan Dunn on the Snohomish County Council. County Councilmember Dunn’s District 2 covers Everett, Mukilteo and Tulalip. Councilmember Dunn serves as Committee Chair of Finance, Budget, and Administration and she is Vice-Chair of the Planning and Community Development Committee on the Snohomish County Council

Thanks for your email and my apologies for a tardy response. My answers are below:

• Were you contacted by someone from Snohomish County about the purchase of the shelter and when did that contact happen?
o I first learned about the potential purchase when you (My Everett News) approached me after the Feb 1 council meeting to ask for my take on the matter. After asking Administration if they had more information, I learned that they had heard from the church last October that they had intended to sell and the city connected the county with the property owners for further discussion. Myself and other councilmembers were not aware until the county reached out to us. I received an email from the county on February 16 to request a meeting which was then held on February 22.

• During that contact were you advised of specific details of the purchase and what the shelter would be used for?
o Specifics were/are still being worked out, so it was more of a general overview.

• Were you made aware that this shelter will simply replace the shelter at UCC on Rockefeller and those 40 people would simply be moved from one area of Everett to another?
o Yes I was made aware that the county was exploring options where people experiencing homelessness could potentially move to a more suitable site to better serve their needs and help them get to a place of stability.

• Were you made aware the only entrance and exit would be from Evergreen Way – a six lane stretch of roadway with a history of serious injury accidents?
o The county shared that they were considering putting a fence along Rucker with a key-card entry for staff and delivery vehicles, but a main entrance would be along Evergreen. The mention of traffic safety is a good reminder of how we need safer streets across the whole city for every mode of travel.

• Did you have any questions of the person who contacted you and have those questions been answered as of this date?
o I asked for more specifics about an outreach plan and community engagement.

• If you’d be willing to share those questions that would be appreciated?
o See above.

• During that time were you advised of the public meetings that were called this week and were you invited to attend?
o I was advised that they would be taking care of the community outreach and engagement portion of the process and that they would be starting soon. I was not aware of the meetings until halfway through the Tuesday meeting when I received a text asking if I was in attendance. I couldn’t attend the Wednesday meeting due to the council meeting.

• Will you be attending the meetings scheduled for Friday afternoon and Monday evening?
o I had planned to attend, but they were cancelled. If more community meetings are held in the future, I’m happy to attend to hear directly from community members.

• Is there anything you want readers of MyEverettNews.com to know about your position on the shelter and the way this process has been handled?
o If the County moves forward with a plan for a homeless shelter, they have a steep road ahead to clearly demonstrate to the neighborhood how this site will be managed and operated differently than the site at UCC.

• Since the planning director is the one who issues and approves the conditional use permit and the city council no longer needs to approve the plans is there anything the Everett City Council can do to affect the outcome of this transaction or shape the future of the site?
o Other than a potential expansion of the No-Sit-No-Lie ordinance and general policies to address homelessness, there’s nothing I’m aware of.

• The attached slide (008) says there will be public hearings in front of the Everett City Council. I’ve heard talk of a briefing but what public hearing is set to go before you? What are you deciding?
o I’m only aware of a potential briefing coming before council, which may or may not be followed by a joint Mayor and Council Resolution in Support.

• Tenants in the two houses on the property were served with end of tenancy letters back on January 12th that they had to be out by April 30th as the property owner was going to sell the property. When did you know this transaction was happening?
o I just learned of this right now.

• Is there anything you want residents and business owners in the area to know about your position on the shelter and the way this process has been handled thus far?
o See above.

Added: I would also like to take a moment to mention that I’ve appreciated the emails and input that I’ve received from folks in the area and that I’ve read every email that has come through. Hearing from these active and engaged neighbors reminded me that the Glacier View Neighborhood Association with the City is currently inactive. With the mobilization that I’ve seen recently by neighbors, I would encourage folks to come together to restart this association! More info here: https://www.everettwa.gov/411/Glacier-View.

Thank you,

Paula Rhyne, MPA (she/her)
Everett City Councilmember, District 2

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