Zoning Ordinance Amendments Related to Shelter Facilities
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On May 19, 2020, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) provided direction for staff to amend the Zoning Ordinance. The amendments are to assist persons experiencing homelessness, and minimize the impacts associated with homelessness on County facilities. Planning & Development Services (PDS) desires public input on the Zoning Ordinance Amendments which will be presented to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors for adoption in fall 2021.
What is the Zoning Ordinance?
The Zoning Ordinance was adopted by the Board of Supervisors to regulate land uses in the unincorporated (non-city) portions of the County of San Diego. The unincorporated area is divided into zones according to the present and potential uses of the land. By zoning land, citizens ensure that new growth and development will take place according to an orderly plan.
The Board of Supervisors (Board) declared a Shelter Crisis Emergency on September 11, 2018. To further the County’s commitment to addressing the concerns surrounding homelessness, on January 28, 2020, the Board directed the Chief Administrative Officer to take the necessary steps for immediate, short-term, and long-term solutions to address the homeless situation in the unincorporated areas of the County, including identifying sites and properties that could be acquired for an emergency, temporary and permanent housing.
On May 19, 2020, the Board provided direction for staff to amend the Zoning Ordinance. The amendments are to facilitate the development of permanent ordinances that will assist persons experiencing homelessness, and minimize the impacts associated with homelessness on County facilities. This project will address the following board directions:
- Authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to pursue permanent amendments to the Zoning Ordinance to allow:
a. A broader definition of the county-owned-and-operated facilities exemption in Section 1006 to include County owned or operated facilities, and County facilities that are leased or contracted by a third party to provide a public purpose, which would include emergency shelters and other health or social service facilities (and including a non-exclusive list of examples of such facilities) owned, operated, or financed by the County;
b. Expansion of the definition of “Emergency Shelter” to include safe parking, safe camping, safe storage, and day shelter activity;
c. Authorize use of properties leased from the State of California located in the unincorporated area of the County for emergency shelter;
d. A broader definition of the county-owned-and-operated facilities exemption in Section 1006 to include transitional and permanent supportive housing owned, operated, or financed in whole or in part by the County.
- Authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to develop proposed ordinances intended to minimize the impacts associated with homelessness on park and recreation users and facilities and return to the Board for consideration.
On April 6, 2021, the Board of Supervisors directed staff to continue with the amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, and suspend current efforts previously directed by the Board on May 19, 2020, that authorized the development of ordinance intended to minimize the impacts associated with homelessness on park and recreation users and facilities. Amendments to the Zoning Ordinance will continue as per the April 6, 2021 direction shown below:
- Direct the CAO to accelerate work on future Zoning Ordinance changes previously directed by the Board on May 19, 2020, in order to streamline the location of emergency and permanent supportive housing, and other facilities to support people experiencing homelessness, and seek input from the community, led by appropriate HHSA staff, to establish a framework for the appropriate siting of such locations, to determine the best approach to address environmental or other regulatory consideration that are current barriers to such changes, and report back to the Board within 90-days.
We want to hear from you! PDS will host two public webinars to present the draft amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and collect feedback on the proposed revisions. Both engagements will cover the same materials. To participate in one of the engagements, click on the corresponding Microsoft Teams hyperlink, or use a phone to call in.
June 8, 2021
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Link: Microsoft Teams Hyperlink
Phone: +1 619-343-2539,,18013778# United States, San Diego
Phone Conference ID: 180 137 78#
June 17, 2021
6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Link: Microsoft Teams Hyperlink
Phone: +1 619-343-2539,,526437743# United States, San Diego
Phone Conference ID: 526 437 743#
The Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is inviting the public to participate in a series of upcoming virtual community feedback sessions focused on where shelters, homes, and supportive services for persons experiencing homelessness should be located within the unincorporated communities of San Diego County. For more information, please visit HHSA’s website here.
In the Fall and Winter of 2020, PDS hosted two public webinars introducing the Board direction and providing an overview of potential Zoning Ordinance revisions. Both of these webinars covered the same information. Recordings of the engagements are below
November 17, 2020, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
December 2, 2020, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
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