The Bellevue City Council held a public workshop Monday, Oct. 24 to address the illegal use of up to 150 trailers and recreation vehicles in the city. City leaders and officials are pondering solutions that would allow continued use of the trailers to avert a surge in homelessness.
Bellevue law allows for 14 days of habitation in a trailer and up to 45 days of use with an administrative permit. Only one trailer is allowed per residential lot, and no rent can be charged for the use.
Mayor Kathryn Goldman, who was not present at the meeting, had consulted with newly hired consultant Troy Butzlaff about the possibility of using a vacant property owned by the city on the south end of town for a new trailer park. Butzlaff said it was “not advisable” to have the trailers hooked up to city sewer lines due to the risk of contamination. He said a similar proliferation of illegal trailers has been increasing in Teton County where he lives.
“There are more of them each year,” Butzlaff said.
City Attorney Rick Allington said building a trailer park on city property could create an “administrative nightmare” due to liability risks for the city.
City Council Chair Doug Brown said the city’s responsibility is to the citizens of Bellevue.
“We can have compassion,” Brown said. “But, the city is not a social service agency.”
Bellevue Marshal Mynde Heil said she has been aware that people are living in trailers in violation of city code, but that turning them out would leave a number of people homeless this winter.
“That’s why we have let them live in the trailers,” said Heil. “These are people who want to work in the valley.”
Heil recommended establishing a code that licenses the use of trailers and requires sewage dumping for approval. Allington said the city is not staffed adequately to monitor ongoing permitted trailer uses.
City Councilwoman Jennifer Rangel said creating a homeless situation is not the answer.
“It’s disheartening to see, but evacuating them is not quite the solution,” Rangel said.
For full story, see the Wednesday edition of the Mountain Express.
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They need to limit the number of people that can live in one house.
Article says "Butzlaff said it was “not advisable” to have the trailers hooked up to city sewer lines due to the risk of contamination."
Without further context this makes no sense. What are they afraid will get contaminated?
Welcome to the discussion.