Port Townsend City Council bans camping around Kah Tai Lagoon

PORT TOWNSEND — There is to be no more camping in the underbrush around Kah Tai Lagoon.

The City Council on Monday night approved an ordinance prohibiting camping in city parks on a 6-1 vote.

Councilman Brent Butler was the lone dissenter.

The issue first came before the council in January in response to a “tent city” in Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park, said City Attorney John Watts.

“We’re not really talking about camping,” Watts said.

“It’s more like squatting. It’s more like a tent city.”

The council turned the situation over to a city special projects committee.

Councilman George Randels, a member of the committee, said the issue is bigger than just the parks.

“We were struggling with how to address this issue and the bigger issue of homelessness,” Randels said.

“How does one respond in a humanitarian way to individuals who are part of our community when the city has no legal responsibility and other levels of government do have responsibility and resources?”

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