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Emergency Temporary Shelters Regulations

This web page provides the land use regulatory aspect of the City of Tacoma's latest approach to addressing homelessness. For more information, please visit the Homelessness Services web pages.


Latest News - Council Public Modified and Extended Interim Regulations 

The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 28460 on October 17, 2017, modifying and extending the duration of the Emergency Temporary Shelters Interim Regulations. (see the chronological events below).  Specifically, the Council:

  1. Extended the interim regulations for 6 months, effective through April 16, 2018, to provide the City the authority to operate temporary homeless shelters during declared emergencies; and
  2. Modified the interim regulations to include amendments to the Zoning Code, Section 13.06.635.B.4, to provide more flexibility for religious and non-profit organizations to host temporary shelters. 


Responding to the Homelessness Crisis 

The following chronological events briefly describe the City of Tacoma's recent endeavors in 2017 in responding to the homelessness crisis:

  • October 17, 2017 - The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 28460, modifying the interim regulations and extending the duration for 6 months, effective through April 16, 2018.
  • October 10, 2017 - The City Council conducted a public hearing (Hearing Notice) concerning the Council-initiated modifications to and 6-month extension of the interim regulations.  
  • July 25, 2017 - The City Council conducted a public hearing (Hearing Notice) to receive public comment on the interim regulations, and thereafter retained the interim regulations.
  • July 19, 2017 - The Planning Commission, as requested by the City Council, developed a findings of fact and recommendation report, supporting the City Council's imposition of the interim regulations.
  • June 6, 2017 - The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 28432, enacting interim zoning and land use controls as an emergency measure, effective through November 14, 2017, to permit the City to site temporary emergency shelters in response to a declared public emergency.
  • May 9, 2017 - The City Council adopted Ordinance No. 28430, declaring a State of Public Health Emergency, effective through October 9, 2017.
  • May 9, 2017 - The City Manager presented the 3-phased Emergency Aid and Sheltering Program.
  • May 9, 2017 - A news release was issued regarding the state of emergency.
  • May 2, 2017 - The City Council adopted Resolution No. 39716, directing the City Manager to prepare an Emergency Temporary Aid and Shelter Program and an ordinance declaring a state of emergency, in response to the current homelessness crisis.

Staff Contact

Lauren Flemister

(253) 905-4146