City Manager’s Weekly Report
for week ending July 31, 2020

Emergency Management. These short videos are pointed and purposeful, particularly the short two minute videos about gas and water shut-offs:

Public Mask Give-away. Saturday, August 1st, from 1-3p.m., at City Hall, the City of Normandy Park Police Department will be giving away 10 masks per household.  Proof of residency (i.e. driver’s license, utility bill, etc.) will be required to receive masks.

View the 2019 Summary SeaTac Advisory Roundtable Table report:

ESF Moratorium extended six months. The renewal of this moratorium allows additional time to identify zones that might accommodate these facilities.

“The Washington State Legislature authorized DSHS to develop Enhanced Services Facilities (ESFs) under Chapter 70.97 RCW. This new category of licensed residential facility will provide a community placement option for individuals whose complicated personal care and behavioral challenges do not rise to a level that requires an institutional setting. Individuals are referred to an ESF if they are coming out of state and community psychiatric hospitals or have no other placement option due to their complex behavior, medical, chemical dependency and/or mental health needs.

ESFs use high staffing ratios, with a strong focus on behavioral interventions, to offer effective services to their residents. These facilities offer behavioral health, personal care services and nursing, at a level of intensity that is not generally provided in other licensed long-term care settings.”

The State of Washington and its collective behavioral health bureaucracies have known for some time that mental health needs are improperly addressed by the historic large institutional model. This new statute already has some successes, prompted in part through behavioral health lawsuit and settlement agreements.

The renewed moratorium is intended to prevent an ESF facility from locating in a single family residential zone, and elsewhere, with up to 16 residents less than 65 years of age who are challenged and present at-risk behaviors to themselves and others. For at-risk behaviors see “Admission Criteria” in Chapter 70.97 RCW

Currently, the Department of Commerce is organizing a committee to develop a model ordinance that will be recommended to Washington state cities and counties. I will be serving on that committee. This behavioral health model seems extraordinarily impractical to implement, particularly in single family residential neighborhoods, or close to them, and in small to mid-sized communities.

In addition to organizations and interests asked to participate, I have suggested to the Department of Commerce that representatives from WASA (school administrators), WCMA (city managers/administrators), and WASPC (sheriffs and police chiefs) be included on the committee. In addition to elected officials representing AWC (Association of Washington Cities), such inclusion seems both warranted and practical.

This new model is not the return of the group home phenomenon experienced by Normandy Park some years ago; it’s bigger. In addition to what I’m going to do on the Department of Commerce committee, thoughtful, purposeful legislative action – suggested by Council members Sipes-Marvin and Thompson at the last Council Meeting – is an important strategy to assess, develop and implement. An additional strategy will be to assess the performance of existing facilities through research and data, tracking effects: on neighborhoods, on police calls for service, on nature of violations, and on ESF license actions, such as warnings, revocations and sanctions.

Mark E. Hoppen, City Manager
City of Normandy Park
801 SW 174th Street
Normandy Park, WA 98166
(206) 248-8246 (Direct Phone)