Apply for a Temporary Use Permit to Operate an Emergency Shelter

The temporary use permit is a process to seek approval to operate an emergency shelter during adverse environmental conditions such as heat waves, freezing conditions or fires. Approval to operate an emergency shelter is good for 180-days within a 12-month period.

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:

  • Residential Agriculture (RA), Single-Family Residential (RS), 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 Educational Services (PE), Public and Private Health Services (PH), Public Services (PS), Employment Center (EC), Capital Mall (PM), Industrial Commercial (IC), Industrial Business Campus (IBC), Industrial Park (IP), and General Industrial (IG)

The property must also be owned by a public, non-profit, religious, or commercial entity and the use must be within an existing building, or space within an existing building, that is approved for conformance with applicable fire, life safety, and Building Code requirements.


  • 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 SRC701.025. 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 an emergency shelter.
  • Building plans. Building floor plans, drawn to scale, for each building floor proposed to be used for emergency shelter identifying:
    • Floor area;
    • The location and square footage of all sleeping rooms, and the use of adjacent rooms;
    • Common gathering areas;
    • Restrooms; and
    • Required exiting to meet Building Code and fire and life safety requirements.
  • Emergency evacuation plan. The emergency evacuation plan shall contain the following:
    • A plan showing the path of egress from the proposed shelter spaces and from the building; and
    • Safety and evacuation instructions to be provided to occupants each evening before sleeping that includes a prohibition on smoking and directions to exists and other escape routes.
  • Operation Details. Your application must include the following information:
    • Proposed duration of use.
    • Number of individuals proposed to be served (the number is limited by the maximum number of people the building, or space within the building, is allowed to accommodate as determined by the Building Official.)
    • A statement addressing staffing, required support services and facilities, fees that will be required, if any, and what emergency, weather or otherwise, that the shelter will be addressing.
  • Written Statement. You must provide a written statement describing the proposal and how it conforms to the following operational and development standards in SRC701.025.