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City of San José – Streamlined Temporary & Incidental Shelter Program


To address the homeless crisis, the City of San José adopted a new ordinance in August 2017 that created a streamlined process for the allowance of temporary and incidental shelters without the requirement of an approved Development Permit. In ordered to be approved, the shelter must be registered with the city Housing Department and meet specific performance standards and other requirements.

This program defines an incidental shelter use as a shelter use that is incidental to the primary assembly use on the site, if it occupies less than 50 percent of the usable square footage of the building(s) that are primarily used for assembly use on the parcel. The maximum occupancy is 50 persons or as set forth by the Fire Code, whichever is more restrictive. A primary assembly use includes, but is not limited to all religious assemblies, and other places such as gymnasiums, libraries, movie theaters, nightclubs, schools and community centers.

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