Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall wants to ban the creation of any new permanent homeless shelter in her city for the next six months.
The goal, she said, is to take the time to chart a new course for homeless services in Salt Lake City and prevent the Utah capital from taking on a greater burden than the rest of Front Wasatch and the state.
The move comes after Mendenhall withdrew her support for a proposed new homeless shelter in the Ballpark neighborhood, saying she would like to see more homeless services spread across Salt Lake County before supporting a another refuge in the city.
“Salt Lake City, and more specifically certain neighborhoods in the city, have a higher responsibility than other municipalities in the state to provide shelter and services to the homeless population of the state, and it is now a crucial time for us to pause and chart a new, more balanced course in our plans for how these services take shape in the city, ”Mendenhall said in a prepared statement released Tuesday.
The mayor on Monday launched a petition to ban any new permanent homeless shelter in Salt Lake City “to ensure that the location and type of homeless shelters and services in the city are carefully considered.” his office said in a press release.
Over the next six months, city leaders may consider a new ordinance to determine the types of conditional use permits for shelters they approve in the future and whether to “distinguish between them. temporary and permanent shelters in the city’s land use processes, ”Mendenhall’s office said.
“In taking this step, my goal is to help ensure that as a city we are more prescriptive in the process that would allow any new permanent shelter to function in Salt Lake City,” Mendenhall said.
The mayor’s petition does not bar the city from considering potential temporary shelters if a provider offers a site in an area that currently allows homeless shelters.
The mayor withdrew his support for the proposed emergency overflow shelter at 252 W. Brooklyn Ave. at a facility currently owned by Volunteers of America Utah after learning that the $ 3 million in state funds approved by the Utah Homeless Council could be used to find more shelter. beds in another place.
Her petition also comes after she backed a Salt Lake Valley Coalition to End Homelessness report last month that called for at least 300 additional beds in emergency shelters to ensure homeless people have a place to stay. , especially before this winter.
If city officials decide to go ahead with a new ordinance to place more safeguards around the types of future homeless shelters approved in the city, it will be reviewed and recommended by the Planning Commission. of Salt Lake City and subject to approval by Salt Lake City. Municipal Council.
In order for the Ballpark overflow homeless shelter to become a reality, the proposal would still have to go through a public land use approval process by city officials.