Support use of church land for “ancillary purposes” such as trailers and tiny homes for our homeless neighbors

23 Jun

We were pleased to learn that the Planning Department wants to study the possibility of allowing churches to use their property for FEMA trailers and other structures to house our homeless neighbors. This zone change is urgently needed during this Covid 19 pandemic and would enable churches to do as God commands in Isaiah 58:7: “Give shelter to the homeless.”

This topic will come up for discussion on Wednesday, June 24, at 2:30 pm. Please write a letter in support of this proposal right now, or else submit it at 2:35 pm tomorrow so it will be read aloud during public comment.

Here are instructions on what to do:

Sample letter on how to respond to item 5 B:

I want to commend the Planning Department for considering changes in the Zoning Code that would allow an ancillary structure or trailer on church property for affordable housing. Given the urgent need for affordable/homeless during the Covid 19 pandemic, this seems like a much needed emergency measure and may also provide a long-term solution. Many congregations have excess land that they are willing to use for missional purposes, such as affordable/homeless housing. The current pandemic will probably increase the need for homeless and affordable housing by as much as 54%, according to a Columbia professor. Our city needs to be proactive and prepared for this emergency. FEMA trailers could be used to house families and pallet and tiny homes could provide temporary or even long-term shelter.

Here’s the text of item 5 B:

B. Potential Code Amendment for Church Properties Staff will facilitate a study session on potential changes to the Zoning Code that would allow an ancillary structure or trailer on church property for affordable housing. Case Manager: David Reyes (Revised on June 22, 2020)


If you wish to provide comment you may do so as follows:

1. ADVANCE CORRESPONDENCE, TO BECOME PART OF THE RECORD: Submit public comment of any length to prior to the meeting day. Please be aware that, while these comments will be provided to the members of the body and will become part of the meeting record, they will not be read aloud.

2. COMMENTS TO BE READ ALOUD AT THE MEETING: At the start of the meeting you may submit public comment of up to 200 words regarding items on the agenda to:

The body reserves the right to summarize comments if necessary for the orderly and timely flow of the meeting. All comments in their entirety will become part of the meeting record. Comments will not be accepted after the public comment period has closed. Public comments will be limited to matters on this agend

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