Vernon city council has approved the first stage in changing regulations that would mean new temporary homeless shelters have to jump through more hoops in order to open.

The proposed zoning bylaw amendment would change current building regulations for sites zoned for temporary shelters. Vernon council voted unanimously, without any debate, to approve the first step in changing the zoning at its meeting today, Nov. 12. Councillor Kelly Fehr declared a conflict of interest and removed himself from council.

According to a report by city staff, the development regulations would add rules for new temporary shelters to require screened outdoor storage, setbacks to reduce congregation on or near the sidewalk, designated on-site smoking areas and exterior lighting.