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Sacramento County Shelves Zoning Code Change For Churches Helping The Homeless

  

Sacramento County has shelved a proposed change to its zoning code that would have affected how much local churches could shelter the homeless.

The change would have limited churches to sheltering 125 homeless for 30 days per year.
 
Joan Burke with Sacramento Loaves and Fishes says there should be no limits on a church's generosity.  

"The Winter Sanctuary Program - it's done exactly when it's most needed: when it's actually cold and rainy in Sacramento," says Burke. "And if the churches didn't offer this shelter, people would be outside."

Leighann Moffitt is the Sacramento County Planning Director. She says the existing zoning code doesn't allow for churches to help the homeless.

"It was an intent to make sure that if we got complaints or concerns expressed that we clearly defined that it could be allowed," says Moffitt, "and that it was allowed by right and without a permit."

The County has withdrawn the proposed change from this week's Board of Supervisors' meeting agenda. The County will soon begin talks with homeless advocates about a different change to the zoning code.