California state law requires local jurisdictions’ housing elements to designate zones where emergency shelters are a permitted use and do not require additional permits to be approved.
Emergency shelters must only be evaluated against the same standards that apply to other residential and commercial developments, with the exception of certain objective standards/requirements specified by the state, i.e. maximum number of beds, length of stay, security, etc.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has created a model ordinance to help cities and counties meet state law. The document includes the list of additional standards that cities may apply to emergency shelters.
Download HCD’s Sample Ordinance: Emergency Shelters (.DOCX).