Emergency Shelter Overlay

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The Emergency Shelter Overlay identifies areas where emergency shelters are allowed by right, subject to development and operation standards. The Overlay meets the requirements of State law by designating specific areas where emergency shelters, also referred to as "homeless shelters", may be established and operated by right, to meet the shelter needs based on homeless population estimates established by current reliable information and in the City's General Plan Housing Element. The Overlay includes Business Park properties in the Rancho San Clemente Specific Plan, as shown below. For a scaled zoning map of the Overlay, click here. Zoning and operational standards are in Municipal Code Section 17.56.100


The goals for the Emergency Shelter Overlay are to:

  1. Facilitate efforts to address the needs of homeless persons in the City of San Clemente by identifying locations where emergency shelters are allowed by right according to standards in Municipal Code Section 17.56.100.
  2. Protect public safety, maintain land use compatibility, and preserve property values, neighborhood quality and economic vitality while addressing an identified humanitarian need.
  3. Locate emergency shelters, to the maximum extent possible, close to public transportation, public and community services, near job centers, away from residential neighborhoods, schools and parks.
  4. Allow small-scale, family-oriented emergency shelters as an accessory use to churches and other religious institutions.
  5. Ensure emergency shelters are designed in accordance with applicable standards, as allowed under State law.
  6. Ensure emergency shelters are operated in a responsible and community-sensitive manner.
  7. Achieve a Housing Element which complies with State law.

For questions, please e-mail