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Burbank changes zoning to allow for homeless shelters

Burbank has approved changes to city zoning laws that would allow homeless shelters to be built certain areas.

State law requires all cities to designate at least one area where emergency shelters are allowed to operate year-round. The City Council last week approved zoning changes that would allow homeless shelters in industrial areas, also called M-2 zones, according to the Burbank Leader.

Assistant Community Development Director Michael Forbes said the zones were selected because they are farthest away from residential neighborhoods. The City Council also approved changes that would allow a homeless shelter to be built near downtown.

“There are some places where an M-2 zone is very close to residential neighborhoods, or it is in a less-than-ideal place for a shelter, but we still need to allow it by law,” Forbes said. “In addition to M-2, there is a commercial/industrial zone near the downtown area, away from residential areas and near transit, that would be well-suited for a homeless shelter.”

--Maria Hsin, Times Community News

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