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Zoning for Emergency Shelters (SB 2)

Last modified: 2/24/2014 4:33 PM
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 unshelt​ered homeless population.
The Planning Office is considering 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 Planning Office has been discussing these and other strategies with various stakeholders, and will be conducting outreach for upcoming workshops and public hearings.

Recent outreach included two informational meetings at County facilities in San Jose and San Martin.​​  The next meeting will be with the Housing, Land Use, Environment​, and Transportation Committee, and will take place on Thursday, February 27​.​​​​

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