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  • 25 Oct 2014

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Homeless camp stays in Old Town while city searches for sites

Members of the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp and city officials agreed Monday to a 60-day extension of a settlement agreement in the group’s lawsuit against the city.

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz said Oct. 21 that the extended agreement would give the two sides a chance to find an alternative location for the dozens of homeless people who live temporarily in the Old Town camp near Northwest Fourth Avenue and Burnside Street.

The delay also gives Old Town property owner Michael Wright a change to “receive compensation from private investors,” according to Fritz.

Right 2 Dream Too campers set up their “rest area” in Old Town two years ago on a vacant lot owned by Wright. The city began fining the property owner for violating anti-camping ordinances. More than $20,000 in fines were expected to be forgiven as part of a legal settlement that also allowed the Right 2 Dream Too camp to move to a city-owned parking lot under the west end of the Broadway Bridge.

During an Oct. 3 City Council hearing, however, Pearl District residents and developers said the city improperly handled the move and threatened legal action to block the move. Since then, Pearl District developers have offered several suggestions for sites to move the homeless campers, but no decision has been made on a new site.

The next step is for Right 2 Dream Too, Wright and the Pearl District group to negotiate terms of compensation to allow the homeless camp to stay in its current location for 60 days. An announcement about the settlement agreement extension and the package of compensation for continued use of the site will be made when negotiations are completed, which is expected by the end of this week.