SAFE PARKING-SAFE SHELTER PILOT PROGRAM

Overview 

Humboldt County Planning proposes adding a Safe Parking – Safe Shelter Pilot Program to the Zoning Regulations that will run for 18 months on public or private land. The Pilot Program is intended to provide safe, temporary shelter sites that accommodate vehicles, tents, cabins, or other approved structures for people who are experiencing homelessness while they seek permanent housing. 

The proposed ordinance for the Pilot Program includes site criteria and operating standards that would allow government entities, non-profits, or religious organizations, along with businesses, or community organizations as partners, to start and operate safe parking sites. At a minimum, the provider must ensure access to toilet and hand-washing facilities, access to showers, trash collection, and on-site security for participants, and follow a written management plan developed in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, including a written agreement with participants. The type and number of vehicles or shelters, the participants’ length of stay, hours of site operation, and level of services provided are described in the Provider’s management plan, which is submitted at the time of application for a zoning clearance certificate.

Goal

The goal of the Pilot Program is to reduce barriers to shelter development in unincorporated areas of the County, so that people experiencing homelessness can access immediate shelter. Designated shelters can mitigate environmental damage and health and safety effects related to gathering of unhoused people without adequate services. The Pilot Program does not identify safe parking or safe shelter sites, but rather sets site criteria, operating standards, and a permit process that facilitates development. 

General Information


Who Can Host a Safe Parking – Safe Shelter Site?

Under this Pilot Program, a government agency, religious entity, or non-profit organization (the Provider) may operate a Safe Parking – Safe Shelter site.

What is Required?

The program organizer or operator, who may be the Provider, landowner, lessee, service provider or one who contracts with the Provider) will need:

  • A Provider that is a government agency, religious entity, or non-profit organization; 
  • A parcel of land, owned or leased, that is properly zoned as specified in the ordinance, or the site of an existing church in other zones (except TPZ, and Special Permit required), and that meets site criteria in the ordinance;
  • A zoning clearance certificate;
  • A way to provide ongoing toilet and hand-washing facilities, trash collection, and on-site security for participants;
  • The Provider must meet the operating standards and requirements in the ordinance;
  • A written management plan; three Model Management Plans developed in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services are available through Planning and Building.  

See a Comparison of the Three Management Plans

Click Here to compare the Minimum Requirements Plan, Village Model Plan, and Low Barrier Model Plan.

Community Participation

Most successful programs depend on all kinds of support from neighbors, community groups, businesses, and non-profits who participate by donating land, services, and supplies by partnering with site Providers. Ways to participate include:  

  • Be a good neighbor.
  • Host a site.
  • Donate land or financial support.
  • Volunteer to build shelters.
  • Participate as a trained volunteer.
  • Coordinate with the host and/or service providers by finding out what they need, then participate in the pilot’s operation.

What Kinds of Vehicles and Shelters are Allowed?

  

  • At a Safe Parking site, up to 20 operating vehicles, vans, or RVs (15 for the Village Model).
  • At a Safe Shelter site, up to 20 tents, huts, or cabins that meet Non-Vehicle Shelter Standards (basically, the California Building Code Emergency Housing standards). The limit is 15 units for the Village Model Management Plan.
  • Providers set the types of vehicles or shelters allowed based on their site conditions, location, staffing and resources.

Draft Safe Parking - Safe Shelter Documents

The draft documents below may be downloaded as pdfs, and will be discussed at an upcoming Humboldt County Board of Supervisors Meeting on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. Drafts were recoomended for adoption at the Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, March 17, 2022. Keep in mind that these are draft documents until adopted by the Board of Supervisors. 

Last updated May 27, 2022.

Staff Report and Analysis


Planning Commission Staff Report

Staff Analysis

Board of Supervisors Staff Report

Draft Ordinance


Planning Commission Draft Inland Safe Parking - Safe Shelter Pilot Program

Planning Commission Draft Coastal Safe Parking - Safe Shelter Pilot Program

Proposed Model Management Plans and Standards


Minimal Requirements Model Management Plan

Village Model Management Plan

Draft Shelter Crisis Ordinance

Although the Shelter Crisis Ordinance is not part of the Housing Element, it will be considered along with Housing Element programs because of its related impacts. 

The draft documents below may be downloaded as pdfs, and will be discussed at an upcoming Humboldt County Planning Commission meeting on March 17, 2022.  Keep in mind that these are draft documents until adopted by the Board of Supervisors. 

Last updated March 17, 2022.

Draft Ordinance


Planning Commission Draft Shelter Crisis Ordinance

Get Notifications

You can sign up for email or text notifications for Housing Element Implementation, including Ordinances, code updates and other topics on the County’s website at: Notify Me.

Once there, sign in with your email. Then select “General Plan Implementation” for ordinance workshops, meetings, and notices

You can also submit ideas and questions through our long range planning email, where we collect public comments: LongRangePlanning@co.humboldt.ca.us