County officials: Homeless can park here

Pierce County will allow regulated safe parking for homeless people in unincorporated areas on an interim basis.

The temporary regulations, approved in April by the County Council and revised and passed again in May after initially being vetoed by County Executive Bruce Dammeier, will last six months and allow religious organizations, civic groups, and commercial property owners to provide a place for people without a residence to stay in their cars. Sites can host as many as seven or more vehicles, with the total limited by land-use zoning where sites are located.

Sites must restrooms or portable toilets, potable water, and trash bins. They also must have a county-approved code of conduct for drug and alcohol use, cleanliness, and quiet hours.

An estimated 2,300 people are homeless in Pierce County, according to officials.

“Safe parking sites for people and families provide a secure, temporary place for them to find stability as they work to improve their financial situation and seek permanent housing,” said Councilman Derek Young. “This is just one way we can begin to tackle meeting the needs of our most vulnerable residents.”