Day shelters for the homeless will soon be able to locate in most business zones in Lexington.
The Urban County Council gave final approval Thursday night to a new zoning ordinance that would make it possible for a day shelter for the homeless to operate within seven of the city's business zones without getting special permission.
A day shelter would need a conditional-use permit — which would have to be approved by the city's Board of Adjustment — if it wanted to locate in a residential area or light industrial zone.
The ordinance approved Thursday replaces a 2013 day shelter ordinance that advocates for the homeless alleged was discriminatory. The 2013 zoning ordinance required anyone serving the homeless or the poor during daylight hours to receive a conditional-use permit from the city. Housing advocates said the city was setting up additional regulatory hurdles for people who serve the poor.
The 2013 ordinance is part of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into whether the city has violated federal fair housing laws. The Department of Justice investigation is ongoing.