Neighbors want more safety measures near Hill N’Dale Park

SPOKANE, Wash. — Neighbors living in the Hill N’Dale Park area want to see more done to keep them safe.

The park, located in the north part of Spokane near a Walmart and an apartment complex, has seen its fair share of break-ins and other issues as a result of homeless people staying near the park.

One person contacted 4 News Now asking for help, as their neighbors are reaching their wits’ end.

“You can see there’s some over there now in their tent and that’s one of the problems,” said Harvey Taylor, a neighbor we spoke with. “But the garbage, they use our garbage can and then sometimes they’ll go through it. And that’s a nuisance.”

Taylor has lived in the apartments near the park for the last five years. Having his truck broken into, he and other people living in the area had to deal with these kinds of occurrences for some time now.

“But what they took was my reading glasses,” Taylor said. “They went through my jewel box and glovebox. They didn’t take anything and I think they got ran off. Because I had tools in there. That was the only time I got broke in but other people have been broke in.”

City Council Members are aware of these concerns, saying they are working on different ways to address these issues.

Councilmember Jonathan Bingle says complaints like these have become the new norm, not just in North Spokane, but the entire city.

“We get complaints throughout the district weekly,” Bingle said. Camp Hope is in my district, and so homelessness complaints are not foreign to us we get them quite regularly and we’re starting to get them more in this area.”

Councilmember Michael Cathcart drafted a “Neighborhood Protection Ordinance.” He said he hopes it can be a new version of an ordinance he and Bingle sponsored that other councilmembers shut down.

The ordinance reads as follows:

At all times, regardless of the availability of shelter space or beds, it is unlawful to camp or store personal property,at any time in the following locations, including any City-owned Park or Park Facility, within 1,000 feet from any School within 1,000 feet from any Childcare Facility, within 2,640 feet from any Congregate Shelter.

The order will be ready for the council’s vote within a few weeks. Ordinances like this one are illegal under federal law unless the city has adequate shelter for those who are homeless.

READ: Spokane City Council approves ordinance giving them final say on siting city facilities