Salt Lake City

Mayor Mendenhall Pauses Creation of New Permanent Shelters in City For Six Months

Amendment of code will require City to better define conditions for conditional use permits

On Monday afternoon, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall initiated a petition to amend City Code 21A in order to ensure that the location and type of homeless shelters and services in the City are carefully addressed.

“Salt Lake City, and more specifically, certain districts in the City, bear a higher responsibility than other municipalities in the State to provide shelter and services to the State’s homeless population, and now is a crucial time for us to pause and chart a new, more balanced path forward in our plans for how those services take shape within the City,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “By taking this step my goal is to help ensure that as a City we are more prescriptive in the process that would allow any new permanent shelters to operate within Salt Lake City.” 

This petition will, for the next six months, prohibit any new permanent shelters in the City, as the City looks at the conditions under which it can approve conditional use permits for shelters going forward, and considers whether or not it should distinguish between temporary and permanent shelters in the city land use processes.

The petition does not prohibit the City from considering a potential temporary shelter location if a provider proposes a site in a zone that currently permits homeless shelters. 

This request follows the Mayor’s support of a report by the Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness calling for the addition of 300 emergency shelter beds to the homeless services system, as well as her request for additional system-wide resources to address homelessness and mitigate the impacts that unsheltered homelessness has on neighborhoods and businesses in the capital city.

The adoption process of the resulting ordinance will include review and recommendation by the Planning Commission prior to a review and decision by the City Council.


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