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Council to consider relocating homeless camp on Thursday

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COURTESY MARK LAKEMAN/COMMUNITECTURE - A concept plan for the relocated Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp.The City Council is scheduled to consider moving the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp to Southeast Portland on Thursday.

The relocation is supported by homeless advocates but opposed by some businesses and residents.

The camp is currently located at Northwest 4th Avenue and Burnside Street. The Portland Development Commission has bought that property and the council want to relocate it to a city-owned site at Southeast 3rd Avenue and Harrision Street by October.

Three items are on the Feb. 18 agenda to authorize the relocation — a "street vacation" ordinance to increase the size of the parcel and two resolutions authorizing the relocation.

The hearings start at 2 p.m. The public will not be allowed to testify on Mayor Charlie Hales' new homeless camping policies at that time, only the three items related to the relocation.

Instead, the public will only be allowed to testify on the three agenda items directly related to the proposed move of the camp from Northwest 4th Avenue and Burnside Street to a city-owned parcel at Southeast 3rd Avenue and Harrison Street

"The Council meeting regarding Right 2 Dream Too is expected to attract a large number of concerned stakeholders who want to testify on the specific issue. The Right 2 Dream Too relocation has gone through more than three years of public process, and people will want to have their say on the final proposed actions. As such, the mayor will limit testimony to the topic of the meeting," says Sara Hottman, Hales' communications director.

The Portland Tribune published an editorial last Thursday calling for the public to be allowed to comment on Hales' new policies to allow more homeless camping at the Feb. 18 hearing. There have been no public council hearing on the new policies, which are supported by homeless advocates and opposed by some business and neighborhood associations.

Hottman says that people who want to comment on the new homeless camping policies may sign up for to speak under the "communications" item at the beginning of Wednesday council agendas. Such requests must be made in advance to the Council Clerk, however, and all five slots are already taken for next Wednesday's meeting.

Hottman also says the public can contact the mayor and commissioners via e-mail, phone calls, and social media.

The council was original scheduled to consider the relocation on Feb. 4. That meeting was postponed because of quorum problems.

A previous story about the relocation can be found at portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/291407-167771-could-new-homeless-camp-be-long-term-model

A previous story about Hales' new homeless camping policies can be read at portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/292500-169753-hales-portlanders-should-tolerate-more-homeless-camping.