‘They just dumped the rocks’; Puyallup spends $7,000 on boulders to deter homeless people

The City of Puyallup spent over $7,000 on hundreds of rocks now strategically placed along Spring Street.

Many locals argue the city is being deceptive. The strip of city-owned land where the boulders were placed is right across from the New Hope Resource Center.

"Vegetation? I’m not falling for that," said Jessica Kingsbury, owner of Root’d Hair Studio. "They didn’t clean the grass out. They just dumped the rocks."

Kingsbury’s salon sits right next to the resource center.

"The rocks have stopped [unhoused people] from setting up in that lot," remarked Kingsbury. "You know where they are now? They’re in the alleyway."

After some pressure from FOX 13 News, city officials revealed the purpose of the rocks was to keep the houseless out.

"Last November, the police department received complaints from nearby property owners and residents about our property near the New Hope building," explained city spokesperson Eric Johnson. "In response, we deployed rocks onto the property. Deployment of rocks is a common technique that other agencies, such as WSDOT, use to maintain their property and mitigate damage."

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Kingsbury argues not only is this hostile landscaping choice an absolute eyesore, it’s a shoddy short-term fix.

"I mean couldn’t that have bought a fence to fence that area in?," said Kingsbury. "There has to be a solution beside dumping rocks in an area and thinking that’s got to fix it."