City issues permits for Jackson Place DESC facility

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has issued permits for a planned Crisis Solutions Center in Jackson Place. The facility, which will be operated by the Downtown Emergency Services Center (DESC), has been controversial in the neighborhood. A group of residents formed a group called the Jackson Place Alliance for Equity and hired attorney Peter Eglick to block the facility from moving in. They have 24 days to file a lawsuit, according to Slog:

After weighing the issue for three months, the Department of Planning Development disagreed with opponents. Yesterday, the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) was finally granted a city permit to build a Crisis Solutions Center in the neighborhood.

“It was an arduous process but we got it,” says Bill Hobson, director of the DESC. The diversion center will provide police and medical responders a place to can take non-violent people who appear to be suffering from mental illness, or emotional or substance abuse problems, in lieu of jail or a hospital stay.

Kristin Wall of the JPAE said the group filed two Requests for Interpretation with DPD, and they are still waiting on the results of the second one.

“Once we have that, we’ll be able to make an informed decision on how to move forward,” she said. She expects the group to decide early next week.

The proposed facility at 16th Ave S and Lane St is unlike any other facility in King County. It is meant to serve as a psychiatric alternative for non-violent offenders who would otherwise end up in jail or the ER. Opponents argue that the facility is more like a jail than a hospital, and is therefore not a permitted use under the site’s current land use code. DPD and the DESC have argued that it is more like a hospital and, therefore, does not need a land use code change.

0 thoughts on “City issues permits for Jackson Place DESC facility

  1. In Nov. 2009 JPAE obtained a lengthy police report from the Seattle Police Department that lists all of the events that required police assistance at four of DESC’s supportive housing locations for a 90-day period (The Union, The Morrison, Lyon Building and 1811 Eastlake). The reports state there were 208 criminal acts that required police assistance during this 90-day period and 16 of these events resulted in arrest. The offenses ranged from noise and detox to rape and assault.

    If DESC’s supportive housing locations have a history of requiring police assistance – 208 criminal acts during a 90-day period – where individuals are free to leave at will, wouldn’t it be cause for concern that the Crisis Solutions Center would also require the same level of police assistance for similar criminal activity?

    How do you explain to a 7 year old that it’s no longer safe to play outside because John Doe has decided he doesn’t want to participate in the Crisis Center program, has left at his own free will and is now roaming the neighborhood? What if John Doe becomes combative and assaults someone? Is DESC going to ensure the safety of residents living in the Jackson Place Community? No, they would rather say we’re trying to dampen enthusiasm or derail capital funding.

  2. Suddenly (or maybe I have been missing obvious signals) the city that I felt so at home in is making my head spin. A deplorable lack of rationale exists for this facility in this neighborhood — really it should not be in any neighborhood but in an area zoned business/industrial. But there it is: an official city OK. This incongruously had strong support from the same council member, Burgess, who two years ago toughened up the city’s “nuisance law” (, which we can guess will apply within a month’s time to this Crisis Solutions Center. (A suggestion: Neighbors, start recording police visits as soon as this place opens.)

    Sue, sue the bastards. That’s the only language they’ll understand, it seems.

  3. Maybe you can answer my question. How many of these 208 police events involved neighborhood residents NOT residing at DESC?

  4. @Nathan/Nathn
    Re: your question
    Kristin cannot answer that question. Besides, comparing the data from DESC’s current facilities to the CSC is manipulative and as another commenter put it “intentionally inflammatory”. The CSC is not a housing facility. It is also not a jail, which is what they tried to argue with a hired lawyer. I am glad the DPD is not stupid enough to classify the facility as a jail. Kristin tends to skim information and then selects and omits information to support her argument. I’m not sure if this is deceitful or just ignorant but either way, the arguments presented against the site are not based on fact, they are based on assumptions (most of which are false). I admire her enthusiasm about this issue but cannot support her position.

  5. “really it should not be in any neighborhood but in an area zoned business/industrial”

    Actually, it is in an area zoned business/industrial.

    The parcel across the street to the west, on 16th between Weller and Lane is zoned IC-65, Industrial/commercial with a height limit.

    The parcel directly behind the site at 16th and Weller is zoned L-3 RC, Residential commercial.

    The parcel directly next door is zoned C2-40, commercial with a height limit.

    The parcel directly across the street to the south, at the intersection of 16th, Rainier, and Lane is zoned IC-65, also Industrial/commercial with a height limit.

    The parcel across the street at Rainier and Lane is also zoned IC-65, Industrial/commercial with a height limit.

    The parcel which is also across the street to the south is zoned L-3, low rise residential, common for townhouses.

    So now what?

    If you really want to sue some “bastards” I can think of plenty to start with. This particular fight seems more hostile than the people this facility will serve.

  6. You are soo right Jennifer. It would be so silly to put this facility anywhere else, Any other neighborhood would be so inapproriate. Those opposed should listen to those who know more than they do. They need keep spending their time going to meetings on good neighbor agreements and such. If they didn’t they may go to places like Wallingford or Fremont and find out what their missing. We don’t ned that now do we? Just stay in your place now Jackson Place people, remember, every neighborhood in Seattle is just like yours, no need to wander off.


  7. Oh hi, Seattle Guy (eyes)! Long time. I’m glad your alias is not too rusty to bring out and regurgitate the same stuff. Glad you’re doing well. Tell the good people north of the ship canal hello.

  8. Jennifer, such hostility! Perhaps there is a place for you in your beloved DESC facility. Well iIam off to meet soem friends at our new brew pub in Wallingford, ooops.

    No Jennifer there is nothing up here our neighborhood is just like yours. No need to go anywhere else but where you live. And don’t forget to attend thoses Good Neighborhood Agreement meetings, every neighborhood in Seattle has them. No need to leave your, how do you say it down there, yes, your “Hood”. Just stay in your “Hood”.

  9. The Seattle Neighborhood Group has a packet of information on how to have nusience property’s abated from the owner. I suggest we all get copies and let the Pacific Management, 9 property owners) know that the community can and will use the nusience abate proceedure to remove them of ownership of the property in court if they rent to a client such as DESC. You do need to photograph and video all incidents as well as documenting police reports. It is done through the small claims court which allows anyone to file a suit up to $5,000 per day per person.
    And no I am not Seattle Guy, wish I had his writing style!

  10. Jennifer, such hostility again! There certainly is a place for you in your beloved DESC facility. Well I am off again to meet soem friends at a new pub in Wallingford, ooops. Noo noo nooooo! There is nothing up here, silly me. Just keep attending those meetings, and don’t even think of traveling anywhere else other than your Hood. We all need neighborhoods like yours. Putting this anywhere else would just be sooo silly.