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.
Emergency Shelters, Transitional and Supportive Housing at a hearing on September 17, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. at the County Operations Center (COC) Campus Center Chambers, 5520 Overland Ave, San Diego, CA 92123. The item is titled “An Amendment to the San Diego County Zoning Ordinance Related to Applicability of the Zoning Ordinance, Definitions, Emergency Shelter Classification, and General Regulations.”
The Zoning Ordinance amendments being considered exempt County-owned, operated, leased, or funded Emergency Shelters, Transitional, and Supportive Housing from Zoning Ordinance provisions. The project would also expand the use classification of “Emergency Shelter” to include (1) safe parking facilities that are not a Recreational Vehicle (RV) park or mobile home park, (2) safe storage facilities, (3) safe camping facilities receiving direct financial assistance from the County of San Diego, and (4) day shelter facilities. This item is related to Zoning Ordinance amendments. No physical development or construction of emergency shelters, transitional housing, supportive housing, or permanent supportive housing is proposed as part of this item.
Health and Human Services will also be providing the Planning Commission an update on the Framework for Siting Emergency, Transitional and Supportive Housing, or Homeless Services in Unincorporated San Diego County.
Members of the public may participate in the meeting in-person or via teleconference pursuant to the regulations in place at the time of the meeting. Those wishing to participate in the meeting and/or comment should visit the Planning Commission website for information on how to do so during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
More information regarding the Project is posted on the following website:
Notice to Viewers of Planning Commission Hearings - The link to view the live and previously recorded Planning Commission Hearings and the live meeting can be accessed using this webpage. The live link will be created at approximately 9 AM on Friday, September 17, 2021. If you do not see a "View Event" link at 9 AM, please refresh your internet browser until the "View Event" link appears.
The County of San Diego –
Planning & Development Services (PDS) is pleased to
announce the release of the Draft Zoning Ordinance
Amendments Relating to Shelter and
Housing Facilities, and the Location Framework and si
te review process
documents for public review.
The following documents are available for a 30-day public review from August 13, 2021, to September 13, 2021 :
Public comments on all documents are requested by 4:00 pm on Monday, September 13.
Please email all comments to PDS.firstname.lastname@example.org .
can send comments by mail to:
County of San Diego
Attn: Zoning Ordinance Amendments Related to Shelter and Housing Facilities-LRP
Planning & Development Services Department
5510 Overland Avenue, Suite 310
San Diego, CA 92123
In August 2021, PDS held two public webinars which introduced the draft amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and collected feedback on the proposed revisions.
In June 2021, PDS held two public webinars which introduced the draft amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and collected feedback on the proposed revisions.
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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