Public Hearing Set To Discuss Proposed Rules For Emergency Shelters In Traverse City

May 8, 2014

Traverse City expects a big turnout next month for a public hearing on emergency homeless shelters.

There are no specific zoning guidelines today.

Under the proposal, emergency shelters would be allowed in 10 city districts.

A section of Wellington Street where a consortium of churches would like to run a shelter does fall within one of those districts.

But City Planner Russ Soyring says there would be more hurdles for the group to cross, if these rules were adopted.

Any shelter proposal would require a public hearing. And organizations would also be required to submit a detailed management plan to assure the city a shelter service would be well run. Elements of that plan would include staffing levels, as well as staff and volunteer training. It would also require a plan for neighborhood outreach, crime prevention and security.

The Wellington Street location would also have to be measured to make sure it’s at least 1,500 feet from a transitional program, such as a residential drug-treatment program.

Soyring says the city also has this type of rule in place for things like daycare centers.

“Partly for convenience,” he says. “Second of all to make sure that this type of use is not dominating the neighborhood.”

City officials expect a large crowd for the June 3rd Planning Commission meeting.