The Plano Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted to call a public hearing to consider an ordinance that would amend how temporary emergency shelters operate during severe weather.

The ordinance would clarify some of the definitions for such shelters and establish guidelines for their operating hours and occupancy, city officials said during the Sept. 5 meeting.

Two-minute impact

Plano uses a specific-use permit, which applies to household care institutions, to govern its temporary overnight warming shelters, Planner Conor Campbell said. That permit restricts the number of occupants and operating hours, which could create compliance issues.

Campbell said there could be some cases in which temporary shelters would need to turn individuals away or risk noncompliance with city ordinances under the guidelines. With the duration of extreme weather events, there is a need for extended operating hours, he added.

According to a memo, city staff has also received interest from religious facilities and nonprofit organizations about operating a temporary shelter.

What’s next?

With the approval of a public hearing, the commission will schedule consideration of an ordinance amendment likely during its Oct. 2 meeting, Land Records Planning Manager Christina Sebastian said. If recommended for approval, council will consider the ordinance amendment at a later meeting.