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.