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Shelter Ordinance Passed

Posted on 29th September 2017 at 08:47

They’re been working at it for almost two years, including another four hours of review, citizen input and discussion last night, but the Longview City Council has finally acted on changes to the city’s zoning code in regard to the siting of emergency shelters. There was considerable discussion over the inclusion of the Office Commercial zone as a potential location, responding to concerns from business owners. Council member Steve Moon says that all of the work done on this ordinance shows that the OC zone is exactly where a shelter should be located. The amendment to exclude the OC zone as a site for shelters eventually failed, so that zone is an area where emergency shelters could be allowed, along with the General Commercial and R-4 zones in the city. Moon and other supporting the ordinance say that the “Good Neighbor Agreement” process will help to define the standards that any shelter would need to meet, also helping to protect nearby businesses and residences. Following the advice of city counsel about running afoul of the Americans With Disabilities Act, language about alcohol use was stricken from the ordinance. The ordinance eventually passed on a 6-1 vote, with Mike Wallin in opposition. Following that vote, the council directed staff to prepare the language needed to end the moratorium on shelters, with a goal of taking action in early November.