The bar is closed, and the doors are locked at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8954.
After more than 30 years in the same building at Homewood Avenue and 8th Street, the local veterans’ organization closed for good earlier this month.
The VFW has been looking for another building for the last couple of years, but members cannot find an affordable place.
Because of the lack of parking at its current location--smack in the middle of a neighborhood--along with a past history of residents’ complaints about noise and disturbances, the City Council ordered the VFW to move from the property by May 18.
VFW member Stan Delmore, who has been part of the post’s relocation committee, said a new place was found in a La Habra shopping center at Imperial Highway and Euclid Street. But the post cannot afford to buy the building.
“We’re without a home--and without city backing,” Delmore said.
The city’s redevelopment agency has made an offer to buy the veterans’ property for $50,000 and give them an additional $50,000 for relocation costs, plus up to $20,000 for asbestos removal from the building, said Russ Gordon, assistant planner.
Gordon said that if the city buys the property, plans are to build a single-family home and sell it to a low-income family. He said the use would be compatible with the neighborhood.
However, Delmore said the veterans view the city’s offer as unacceptable.
He said they had the property appraised at $207,000, which included both the land and the Quonset-hut-like building.
“The city says they don’t care about the building. We care about the building, and we need to replace it,” Delmore said.
“We were depending on the city to be fair and honest. We have no money to move to the La Habra site,” he said, adding that the group needs $100,000 as a down payment on the building.
Delmore said that since the city closed down some of the post’s operations about five years ago, the organization has lost much-need revenue.
Delmore said there has been discussion of joining forces with the La Habra and Fullerton VFW posts and making one large post to serve North Orange County. But for the time being, Delmore said, the post will hold its meetings at the local Elks Lodge.
Delmore raised the possibility of a lawsuit. “If the city doesn’t come to a fair resolution, we will take them to court,” he said.