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A. Authority of the City Manager. The city manager is authorized to:
1. Promulgate procedures and policies necessary for the acceptance of applications, investigation, issuance, denial, and revocation of all camping permits of the types specified in this chapter and the establishment of city-sponsored safe stay communities;
2. Issue, deny, and revoke outside habitation permits and safe stay community operator permits in furtherance of the purposes of this chapter;
3. Delegate any or all functions under this chapter; and
4. Request the assistance of other city departments to investigate, administer, and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
B. Types of Outside Habitation Permits. The following types of outside habitation permits are established and may be issued by the city manager, or their designee, pursuant to procedures and policies promulgated under this chapter:
1. Nighttime Employment Outside Habitation Permit. The city manager, or their designee, is authorized to permit persons who present satisfactory evidence of nighttime employment to camp, occupy camp and outside habitation facilities, use camp and outside habitation paraphernalia, or store personal property in parks, streets, or any publicly owned parking lot or publicly owned area, improved or unimproved, in the city of Vancouver, except within camping and outside habitation impact areas as prohibited by VMC 8.22.040(B).
2. Safe Stay Community Operator Permit. The city manager, or their designee, is authorized to issue a safe stay community operator permit to a person, firm, corporation, or municipal corporation upon receipt of satisfactory evidence that the applicant possesses suitable qualifications to operate a safe stay community in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The duration of a safe stay community operator permit shall be for an initial period of not more than one year. A safe stay community operator permit may be renewed no more than twice by the city manager for a period not to exceed one year each. The request for an extension shall be processed in the same manner as an initial safe stay community operator permit application.
a. Upon receipt of an application for a safe stay community operator permit under this chapter, the city manager, or their designee, shall provide notice to all owners and residents of record of property, as shown on the most recent property tax assessment roll, located within 1,200 feet of the proposed supportive campsite and shall send a copy of the application to the city departments of police, parks, public works, community development, and fire. Each of these departments shall inspect the application and each such department shall report to the city manager, or their designee, any problems which the proposed activity is expected to pose for the public. Such reports shall make any necessary recommendations for protecting the public peace, health, safety, life, property, and welfare in the event a permit is, or was, issued.
b. In evaluating whether to grant or deny an application for a safe stay community operator permit, the city manager, or their designee, shall evaluate whether the resulting safe stay community will be (i) equitably dispersed throughout the city in relation to other existing safe stay communities; (ii) located where the safe stay community will avoid areas of highest economic vulnerability within surrounding residential areas in the city; (iii) afford accessibility in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; (iv) be located within one-half mile of public transit; and (v) comply with all requirements of the State Environmental Policy Act.
c. The city manager, or their designee, shall review and approve rules and regulations regarding the admission to, and operation of, all safe stay communities.
C. The city manager, or their designee, may approve a permit as provided under this section when, from a consideration of the application, reports from other city departments, and from such other information as may otherwise be obtained, the city manager, or their designee, finds that:
1. Adequate sanitary facilities are provided and accessible at or near the proposed safe stay community site;
2. Adequate trash receptacles and trash collection are provided; and
3. The outdoor habitation activity will not unreasonably disturb or interfere with the safety, peace, comfort and repose of private property owners.
D. The city manager, or their designee, is authorized to revoke a permit that has been issued if the city manager, or their designee, finds lack of compliance with any requirement of subsection C of this section, or evidence that a safe stay community operator has failed or refused to require community residents to comply with any rule or regulation promulgated under subsection (B)(2)(c) of this section, or of any ordinance or statute.
E. Any person who is denied a permit, or had their permit revoked, may appeal the denial/revocation to a hearings examiner appointed by the city manager, or their designee. Notice of appeal must be in writing, and filed with the city clerk within seven working days from the date of the denial or revocation.
F. City staff may propose city-sponsored safe stay communities. Such proposals will be evaluated for approval by the city manager, or their designee, applying the criteria under subsections (B)(2) and C of this section and the availability of city resources. (Ord. M-4379 § 7, 2022; Ord. M-4348 § 7, 2021; Ord. M-4133 § 1, 2015; Ord. M-3323, 1997)