SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane County dropped the abatement lawsuit against the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on Monday, Spokane County spokesperson Jared Webley confirmed to KREM 2 on Tuesday.
Webley said the decision to drop the lawsuit is the county's effort to extend an olive branch to WSDOT so they can work together to close the homeless encampment and get citizens there into more humane housing.
The abatement case was filed by Spokane County against WSDOT in November, when the county sought to sue the department and declare the I-90 homeless encampment as a chronic nuisance property.
Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl first sent a letter to WSDOT in October stating the homeless encampment was "in danger of being declared a chronic nuisance" property. The property is owned by WSDOT and has been occupied by homeless campers for more than a year.
A month later, the county took the matter to court and asked a judge to officially declare the camp a chronic nuisance property.
In a statement to KREM 2, WSDOT said they were informed late Monday of the county's decision to drop the lawsuit.
"We appreciate this good faith effort by Spokane County and the Sheriff," WSDOT said. "Dropping the lawsuit will further the good work being done to downsize and eventually, close Camp Hope permanently and to rebuild partnerships between WSDOT, Spokane County and the Spokane Sheriff’s Office as we all work to resolve and disband Camp Hope."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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