UPDATE: A special meeting of the Huntington Beach City Council will be held on Thursday, April 18 to consider and vote on the proposed “navigation center” for the homeless at 4 p.m. in the council chambers.
That homelessness is a complicated and contentious issue was confirmed at Monday’s meeting of the Huntington Beach City Council.
At a study session on a proposed “navigation center” for the unhoused that preceded the regular meeting of the council, 28 speakers addressed the city leaders, and the whole session took nearly five hours.
What’s proposed is a shelter at 15311 Pipeline Lane, located in an industrial art of the city several blocks from Marina Park and Marina High School. An earlier plan to place the center closer to the school and park was withdrawn in the face of public outcry.
The Pipeline Lane location would have 50 to 75 beds at the 11,200 square foot facility.
The council heard a lengthy presentation on the issue, including statistics and demographics on the homeless, legal issues and what other communities have done to deal with the issue. Federal judge David Carter is overseeing a temporary restraining order that prohibits people from camping or sleeping outdoors if there’s no alternative.
Several cities have been sued under this order, but not yet Huntington Beach.
Michael Gates, city attorney, commented that “the City of Huntington Beach has been presented with an opportunity to avoid the lawsuit if the city were to facilitate or provide for an emergency homeless shelter. The threat is real and is in imminent.”
Police chief Rob Handy said the ramifications of “doing nothing” were “much more severe than” creating a homeless center.
What was recommended to the council was the creation of a citizen’s advisory board on the issue including representatives from residents, businesses, school districts and other “stakeholders.”
No action was taken on the proposed shelter.
Also on Monday night, the council approved a sidewalk vending program – with a fee schedule – for mobile venders, establishing times, locations and requirements to operate a cart that sells to the public.
The next meeting of the council is set for Monday, May 6 at 4 p.m.
Categories: Huntington Beach