BRENTWOOD -- The city could soon have a location designated as a possible year-round emergency shelter.

To meet state housing laws, Brentwood is in the process of changing its zoning to eventually permit the development of such a center.

At its last meeting, the Brentwood City Council approved a revision to the city's housing element, a document that serves a guide for the community's anticipated housing and is mandated by the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The city's last housing element update was in 2005.

For the housing element to be certified next year, the city is required to include allowances for affordable housing and emergency housing, according to city officials.

"HCD is requiring that the city specifically identify and analyze locations where emergency shelters could be located by right without a conditional use permit being required," Brentwood Associate Planner Debbie Hill said.

The locations identified for emergency transitional housing are near Brentwood Boulevard, north of Lone Tree Way near the Brentwood Junction shopping center, south of Lone Tree and along the east side of the new Highway 4, Hill noted. She added that these areas were identified because of their proximity to major arterial streets, public transit, infrastructure and employment opportunities.

"We don't have to build it. We don't have to fund it, but we have to have zoning in place to accommodate it if an organization comes forward with one," Hill said.


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Over the next year, city officials will further study these four locations before finalizing the shelter zoning location. Hill said that the identification of these potential sites does not require the zoning for shelters in any of these particular locations.

"The council will ultimately be able to decide which location will be the best location for the community," Hill said.

Other major HCD requirements were for the city to analyze its extremely low-income households, list current environmental constraints on the development of housing and include an action plan to aid those with disabilities through the allowance of wheelchair ramps and various accommodations. According to Hill, HCD will likely review Brentwood's revised housing element over 90 days and certify it by February.

Brentwood Vice Mayor Steve Barr said that some dramatic changes have been made to the housing document since January and the council was unsure of how HCD would receive those alterations.

"I think we did a good service to the community with this current update," he said.

Reach Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.