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Zoning for Emergency Shelters (SB 2)

Last modified: 7/22/2014 11:42 AM
The California Housing Accountability Act (SB 2) requires local jurisdictions to accommodate potential sites for emergency residential shelters without a use permit or other such discretionary review.

SB 2 mandates that every local jurisdiction accommodate sites and capacities for its ​estimated unsheltered homeless population.
The Planning Office has developed an ordinance​ that incorporates the following strategies to satisfy SB 2 requirements:

  • Allow small-scale emergency shelters (up to 14 beds) to operate by right in various zoning districts, excluding single-family and two-family residential districts within urban areas and certain rural districts. 
  • Allow certain established institutional uses, such as religious facilities, to add ancillary small-scale emergency shelters without a use permit or other discretionary review (“by right”), consistent with Program 4.08.16 of the 2009 Housing Element.​
  • Establish a special overlay district, which would accommodate larger-scale shelters by right in select locations deemed uniquely suitable.​
  • Establish standards and requirements to address potential offsite impacts and achieve consistency with the County’s “Housing First” policy for homeless populations.

The Board of Supervisors accepted the recommendations of the Planning Office and adopted the ordinance on June 10, 2014.  

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