The County Board of Supervisors reversed a highly controversial decision Tuesday and voted unanimously to sell a 6-acre piece of county property to the Santa Ana Unified School District for a future school site.
The sale was approved for $3.15 million.
The board had killed the planned sale after the centralized-jail initiative qualified for the ballot, because some members were worried that the measure could force the county to consider using the site for a new jail.
The jail initiative, which would require that all future jails be built in Santa Ana, was approved for the June, 1990, ballot by the supervisors Tuesday.
Supervisor Don R. Roth, who originally voted against the sale to the school district, said he is now convinced that even if the county needs it, the location is not appropriate for a jail because it is too small and in a residential area.
Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez, who also had opposed the property sale, said he had been concerned that the county could be in legal trouble if it sold vacant property knowing that the initiative might require it to find a site in the city for a new jail.
Vasquez said Tuesday that the county counsel had decided the sale would not pose such legal problems.
The Santa Ana school district has already paid for the design of an elementary school to be built on the site, and the purchase had been negotiated over a period of two years. District officials said they were shocked by the board’s earlier decision because they thought the sale was not going to be a problem.
They told the supervisors that the district’s schools are seriously overcrowded and that students are being taught in temporary trailers.