Salt Lake City

City Council


Homeless Resource Center and Homeless Shelter Text Amendments

On March 22, 2022, the Council voted to adopt two ordinances related to homeless resource centers (HRCs) and shelters within the City.

The first ordinance prohibits new HRCs and shelters in the City. The second ordinance allows new HRCs and shelters in certain zoning districts (CG, D2, and D3) after May 3, 2023. These ordinances were the first of three steps to re-evaluate where to locate HRCs and shelters in the city. 

The steps taken by the Council are part of a larger process initiated by Mayor Mendenhall in October 2021, which includes three parts:

  1. Prohibit new, future homeless shelters or resource centers in all zoning districts of the City (adopted by the Council on March 22), 
  2. Modify the conditional use standards for homeless shelters or homeless resource centers, and
  3. Distinguish between temporary overflow shelters and permanent shelters and homeless resource centers that operate year-round and potentially allow temporary overflow homeless shelters in certain zones. 

The Administration is still processing steps two and three, which will be reviewed by the Planning Commission in the coming months.

What else does this proposal do?

  • Modifies the applicability section of City Code 21A.36.350 – Qualifying Provisions for Homeless Resource Centers and Homeless Shelters.
  • Amends the definitions of homeless resource centers and homeless shelters in City Code 21A.62.

During the March 22 vote, Council Members expressed a desire to allow these facilities in the future. Council Member Petro shared “Nothing about this is easy or desirable. Nothing about the continuation of what we’re experiencing now on a seasonal basis is easy or desirable… hitting a pause button and doing the hard work and digging deep is sometimes the only way to get out of negative cycles.”

Council Member Wharton added, “I’m not willing to vote to say that Salt Lake City is not going to host shelters anymore and that’s not what we’re doing. We have to hit this pause button so that we can plan on how to do this better in the future because this is not a problem that’s going to go away. I don’t think any of us on this Council or our Mayor think that, you know, in the next year, we’re going to be able to solve this problem, but we do need this time to be able to be in a better position to respond and to meet the need—not only of our sheltered residents but our unsheltered residents.” 

Learn more about this proposal by reading the information provided by the Administration to the Council or by reading the Council staff report.

March 22 Public Hearing & Council Action

The Council held and closed a public hearing at its Tuesday, March 22 meeting. During the same meeting, the Council adopted two ordinances: the first removes the HRCs/Shelters from the Land Use Tables. The second ordinance implements a future date certain of May 3, 2023 for the HRC/Shelters use to again be allowed in the zones they are currently located (CG, D2 and D3), unless a new process is adopted before then.

Watch the Public Hearing & Council Action

March 22 Council Discussion

During the Tuesday, March 22 work session meeting, the Council held a follow-up discussion on the Homeless Resource Center and Homeless Shelter Text Amendments. Council Members expressed support for a temporary removal of HRCs and shelters from the City’s land use table.

Watch the discussion

March 8 Discussion

The Council received a briefing from the Mayor’s Administration at their Tuesday, March 8 meeting. The Council set a public hearing date for Tuesday, March 22nd at 7 p.m.

Watch the discussion

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