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Gideon Shelter Working Group Update 2023W18

Clinton Triangle / Gideon Shelter Temporary Alternative Shelter Working Group

Last week was a busy week for the working group.

Wednesday, 2023-04-26, was a working meeting as we added notes and worked with Josie Kressner of the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood District to include HAND as a participant in our agreement. You can find the current version of the document in our drive folder, along with notes from the meeting.

We worked with two other HAND folks on Thursday, 2023-04-27, Chris Eykamp and Michelle Sprague, to narrow down the issues and prepare for a meeting with the city on Friday. Notes and a recording of that meeting are here.

On Friday, 2023-04-28, we met with Hank Smith and Eric Zimmerman of the City, on the lovely rooftop room at Dean River Apartments, graciously hosted by Jean-Pierre “JP” Veillet. The biggest takeaways from that meeting, in my opinion, are, in no particular order:

  1. The city is working with us to define impact zones that will be targeted for recruitment of shelter guests. While UA is limited by contract to the 1000-foot limit, the city is employing their own folks to do recruitment.
  2. “Smoke jumpers” in various departments will be used to resolve problems quickly.
  3. Baselines will be taken and used to define success criteria.
  4. Hank Smith and Eric Zimmerman were very open to a performance bond, proposed by JP, that will be used to resolve vandalism and graffiti problems.
  5. There was some confusion over the number of shelters and residents. The City is proposing 140 pods and 20 tent sites now. It was firmly stated that we need this nailed down and limits set. See my zoning analysis below.
  6. There is a targeted July 1, 2023 opening date. See my analysis below.

Notes from the Friday, 2023-04-28 meeting are available here.

Late-breaking zoning and timing analysis

I have a provisional answer to the maximum persons question, from the city code for EX zoning. It’s a complicated one, and it may be that the July 1, 2023 opening date is in jeopardy because the city has not followed a “Type III process”. 

This lot is zoned EX, governed by 33.140.

33.140.100.B.8  on p 140-7 allows for “Community Service”, as shown in Table 140-1 on page 140-9, and states it’s governed by 33.285.

There are two interpretations, and I’m not sure which applies. They end up with the same 200-bed limit, but different answers for the number of structures allowed and the approval process. 

If this is an outdoor shelter, 33.285.C.3 on p 285-5 seems to apply?  

That limits the number of “individual shelters” to 60 if the design meets the standards of 33.285.050.

33.285.050 on p 285-7 seems to indicate that you can have 200 beds with an allowed density of one bed per 35sq ft of floor area.

That would mean 60 units with 200 beds? I’m not sure the current design of the shelter, as described, meets those criteria?

If, however, it’s a mass shelter, then 33.285.B.3 on p285-4 seems to apply.

33.285.B.3.a states that an allowed use also needs to meet the standards of 33.285.050.

Once again, 200 bed limitation, but the structure limit doesn’t seem to apply.

There is a requirement for “Type III procedure” to approve the use, laid out in 33.285.B.3.b(2) on p285-4.

A Type III procedure requires that there be public notices, a hearing along with comment periods.  I’m not sure this timeline fits into a July 1, 2023 opening date?

So, as far as I can tell, if this is an outdoor shelter, it’s an allowed use without a hearing, but you’re limited to 60 structures.

If it’s a mass shelter, there’s a 103-day timeline to approval for the use, but you don’t have the structure limit.

In both cases, we have a 200-bed limit.

Update in an excerpt from an email from Hank Smith, in response to this, which I haven’t had time to research properly

I am working on a detailed answer to the questions of zoning and max persons, but I can see you have dug quite deeply into the zoning laws. While doing research please also reference Ordinance 187371, which has been extended until March 22, 2025, through Ordinance 190756. These are emergency orders that impact emergency housing services and refer to Title 15 of the City code that describes authority under emergency (and points specifically to section 15.08.025).

email from Hank Smith in response to the zoning/timing analysis above

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