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H.B. council to consider purchase of a portion of property slated for long-term Costa Mesa homeless shelter

Airway Avenue site
In March, the Costa Mesa City Council voted to buy this building at 3175 Airway Ave. for $6.925 million for potential use as a long-term homeless shelter. On Monday, Huntington Beach officials will discuss the location in closed session as a potential regional solution to the city’s search for a homeless shelter site.
(File Photo)

Huntington Beach’s property search is expanding beyond city limits after announcing earlier this month that it might explore regional options for a homeless shelter.

On Monday, the City Council will meet in closed session to discuss the possible purchase of a portion of property in Costa Mesa that is slated for that city’s long-term shelter.

“We should be looking at our overall response to the homeless situation in a much more regional way,” Huntington Beach City Manager Oliver Chi said in an interview Friday.

Chi will join the closed discussions about the site at 3175 Airway Ave. as well as an additional property in Huntington Beach.

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The expanded considerations come after multiple other proposed sites have fallen through.

Most recently, the city this month halted action toward putting a 35- to 60-bed homeless shelter at the former site of Al’s Woodcraft at 17881 Beach Blvd. City officials said they might look to surrounding communities for a more regional solution.

In the short term, Chi said, “we have to engage regionally and build a network for permanent housing options.”

“The solution is not to keep shuffling folks who are suffering from homelessness around but get those individuals into a more permanent housing situation,” Chi said.

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On Tuesday, the Newport Beach City Council also will hold a closed session about the Airway Avenue property, along with Costa Mesa’s current temporary shelter at Lighthouse Church of the Nazarene at 1885 Anaheim Ave. Newport also has had trouble finding a site for a homeless shelter.

The Huntington Beach council will instruct Chi regarding negotiations with Costa Mesa as well as the owners of 18431 Beach Blvd. in Huntington. The city was approached about a project at the site that might address the long-term solution, Chi said.

During its regular meeting Monday, the council is scheduled to vote on whether to authorize the sale of 15311 Pipeline Lane for $2.744 million.

The council in April authorized a $2.85-million purchase of that property to create a 75- to 90-bed homeless shelter, but the plan was dropped after a group of residents and area property and business owners sued, claiming the property could be used only for industrial purposes.

Monday’s council meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 2000 Main St.

Daily Pilot staff writer Hillary Davis contributed to this report.

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