Apply for a Temporary Use Permit for a Safe Parking Shelter

The temporary use permit is a process to seek approval to use your parking lot for overnight vehicle camping for unhoused individual. While no one should have to live in a car, safe parking shelters can help families and individuals get connected to services in a secure environment with consistent access to on-site toilets and garbage removal. Safe parking shelters can serve up to ten vehicles and can operate between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Provisions for restrooms, handwashing, garbage, and security must be provided. Vehicles such as cars, trucks, vans, motorized recreational vehicles, and similar conveyances are permitted.

The temporary use permit is a Type I land use decision under the Salem Revised Code (SRC) Chapter 300.

Location and Property Use Restrictions

Safe Parking Shelters are allowed in the following zones:

  • Single-Family Residential (RS), Residential Agriculture (RA), Multifamily Residential-I (RM-I), Multifamily Residential-II (RM-II, Multifamily Residential-III (RM-III), Commercial Office (CO), Retail Commercial (CR), General Commercial (CG), Central Business District (CB), West Salem Central Business District (WSCB), Fairview Mixed Use (FMU), South Waterfront Mixed-Use (SWMU), Neighborhood Hub (NH), Mixed Use-I (MU-I), Mixed Use-II (MU-II), Mixed Use-III (MU-III), Mixed Use-Riverfront (MU-R), Edgewater/Second Street Mixed-Use Corridor (ESMU), Public Amusement (PA), Public and Private Cemeteries (PC), Public and Private Educational Services (PE), Public and Private Health Services (PH), Public Services (PS), Employment Center (EC), Capital Mall (PM), Industrial Business Campus (IBC), Industrial Commercial (IC), Industrial Park (IP), and General Industrial (IG)

The property must also be used and developed exclusively for a governmental, non-profit, religious, commercial, or industrial use.


  • Application. You must submit all required items listed in the application checklist section below to the Permit Application Center Portal.
  • Completeness review. Staff reviews application for completeness. If the application is not complete, you will be notified as to what information is missing and will have 180 days to submit the additional information. You may track the status of your application online at the City of Salem permit tracking webpage.
  • Conformance review. Once a complete application is submitted, staff reviews the applicant’s proposed plan for conformance with the applicable criteria for a temporary use permit under SRC 701.041. If staff cannot approve the application, you will be contacted with the reasons the plan does not comply.
  • Decision. The Planning Administrator issues a decision to approve or deny the application based upon whether the proposal meets the applicable criteria.

Application Checklist

  • Completed land use application form. The application form must be signed by the applicant(s), property owner(s) and/or duly authorized representative(s). If the applicant and/or property owner is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), please also provide a list of all members of the LLC with your land use application. The land use form will be generated for you when you submit through the Permit Application Center Portal. You will be required to sign the application that is created and upload the signed form.
  • Application fee. You must pay the application fee when you file your application.
  • Proof of ownership. You must submit proof of ownership such as deeds or a preliminary title report or written authorization from the owner of the property to use it as a safe parking shelter.
  • Site plan. The site plan must include the following:
    • The location of the off-street parking or vehicle use area(s) where vehicles will be parked overnight;
    • The location of restroom facilities that will be available to overnight guests; and
    • The location of trash collection area(s) that will be available to overnight campers.
  • Operation Details. Your application must include the following information:
    • The number of vehicles proposed to be served per night; and
    • An operation and management plan setting forth the rules for shelter use and provisions for shelter operation and maintenance.
  • Written Statement. You must provide a written statement describing the proposal and how it conforms to the following operational and development standards in SRC 701.041.