Clackamas County Commissioners to hold Aug. 2 public hearing on proposed code changes for transitional shelter communities

Clackamas County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 2, on proposed zoning amendments to allow transitional shelter communities as a conditional use on light or general industrial land outside city limits.

The hearing is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. and will be held in the Public Services Building at 2051 Kaen Road in Oregon City. Commissioners will hear and consider public testimony, along with written testimony and Planning Commission recommendations, to decide whether to approve the amendments.

The Planning Commission held a two-part public hearing on the proposed amendments July 10 and 24. After hearing from 17 members of the public and receiving additional written testimony, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the proposed amendments, with some modifications.

The recommended amendments include the following provisions:

  • Transitional shelter communities are temporary shelters for homeless people operated by an entity approved by the Director of the County Department of Health, Housing and Human Services;
  • No residents under the age of 18 allowed;
  • The amendments will sunset after two years or the approval of three projects, whichever comes first;
  • An approved conditional use permit must be implemented within two years;
  • If a shelter stops operating for at least a year, it will lose its conditional use permit.

The draft ordinance also requires transitional shelter communities to present operational plans for parking, security, lighting and pets, and to comply with a variety of standards, including:

  • Shelter unit type: detached stick-built structures or prefabricated structures with no plumbing or outdoor storage; tents, yurts and membrane structures are prohibited;
  • Maximum building floor space: 200 square feet per unit;
  • The community must be fenced, and
  • Shelter operators must provide common bathroom and kitchen facilities.

People are welcome to testify at the public hearing, or to send in their testimony in advance, in writing, to Andrew Yaden, either by email to ayaden@clackamas.us, or by drop off or U.S. mail to the Development Services Building, 150 Beavercreek Road, Oregon City, OR 97045.

The proposed amendments are available online or by contacting Planner Andrew Yaden at 503-742-4578 or ayaden@clackamas.us.

For more information about the proposed ordinance, members of the media or public may contact Jennifer Hughes at 503-742-4518 or jenniferh@clackamas.us.