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Manteca may allow shelters in retail zone
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An agency wanting to locate an emergency shelter in a general commercial zone — essentially one that accommodates retail and office uses — will soon be able to do so without obtaining a conditional use permit.

The Manteca Planning Commission when they meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m. is considering the change to the municipal zoning ordinance to bring the city into compliance with state law regarding the homeless.

The state mandates that all jurisdictions provide at least one zoning classification where homeless shelters are allowed without the need to obtain a conditional use permit. As an allowed use in a general commercial zone a homeless shelter would still be able to meet all requirements that other allowable uses do such as parking and landscaping. 

They would not, however, be subject to a public review process giving people the opportunity to try and prevent them from coming into a general commercial zone.

Given the cost of new construction, the most likely scenario would be a homeless shelter opening in an older and less marketable general commercial area.

The city specifically bans homeless shelters from going into neighborhood commercial which is different than general commercial. Neighborhood commercial zones are exactly what the name implies — pockets of commercial uses surrounded by a residential neighborhood.

The city would still allow homeless shelters in M1 zones that are for light industrial uses if a conditional use permit is obtained. That would cover areas such as the Manteca Industrial Park and sections along Moffat Boulevard among others.

Homeless shelters would not be allowed in any other zone.

Manteca’s two existing homeless shelters — Raymus House and HOPE Family Shelter — would require zoning changes if they were seeking to locate today in their present locations. The HOPE Family Shelter on West Yosemite Avenue is in a former apartment complex that originally was built as Manteca’s first hospital. Raymus House on Union Road is in a former convalescent hospital. 

The planning commission meets at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.