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35.21.910  <<  35.21.915 >>   35.21.920

RCW 35.21.915

Temporary encampments for the homeless — Hosting by religious organizations authorized — Prohibitions on local actions.

(1) A religious organization may host temporary encampments for the homeless on property owned or controlled by the religious organization whether within buildings located on the property or elsewhere on the property outside of buildings.

     (2) A city or town may not enact an ordinance or regulation or take any other action that:

     (a) Imposes conditions other than those necessary to protect public health and safety and that do not substantially burden the decisions or actions of a religious organization regarding the location of housing or shelter for homeless persons on property owned by the religious organization;

     (b) Requires a religious organization to obtain insurance pertaining to the liability of a municipality with respect to homeless persons housed on property owned by a religious organization or otherwise requires the religious organization to indemnify the municipality against such liability; or

     (c) Imposes permit fees in excess of the actual costs associated with the review and approval of the required permit applications.

     (3) For the purposes of this section, "religious organization" means the federally protected practice of a recognized religious assembly, school, or institution that owns or controls real property.

     (4) An appointed or elected public official, public employee, or public agency as defined in RCW 4.24.470 is immune from civil liability for (a) damages arising from the permitting decisions for a temporary encampment for the homeless as provided in this section and (b) any conduct or unlawful activity that may occur as a result of the temporary encampment for the homeless as provided in this section.

[2010 c 175 § 3.]

Notes:

     Findings -- Intent -- Construction -- Prior consent decrees and negotiated settlements for temporary encampments for the homeless not superseded -- 2010 c 175: See notes following RCW 36.01.290.