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Huntington Beach City Council to consider temporary homeless shelter

 Huntington Beach City Council
The construction of a temporary homeless shelter is one of the items the Huntington Beach City Council will consider on Monday night.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

The Huntington Beach City Council during its meeting Monday night will consider constructing a temporary emergency homeless shelter.

The agenda item, proposed by Councilman Erik Peterson, would allow for a 40-plus bed temporary shelter in the city’s Public Works yard, located on Gothard Street. The proposal is made pursuant to the powers of the city to address a health and safety crisis, as well as pursuant to the city’s emergency declaration.

Should the item pass, Huntington Beach City Manager Oliver Chi would be directed to bring back a proposal in two weeks for the shelter.

In February, the council voted unanimously to give city staff the green light to buy a property at 17631 Cameron Lane, approving the use of $3.16 million for the transaction. An adjacent property at 17642 Beach Blvd. was also authorized for purchase.

Later, in April, council members unanimously approved an Emergency Facility Use Agreement with Orange County to establish an emergency shelter at the Cameron Lane site for homeless residents who are not coronavirus-positive and do not show symptoms.

The Cameron Lane site is still in escrow, Chi said, though construction of the shelter will likely begin in the next couple of weeks , and it should be up and running by late October or early November. He said the site would be used as a temporary shelter for the next three to five years, while the city pursues the longer-term development of an affordable housing project on the property.

“At the staff level and at the c ouncil level, I know there’s a lot of support to try to get something moving to be able to better address the homeless situation,” Chi said. “It’s definitely an issue that needs attention. We’re aware and cognizant of it, and we’re trying to find the best way to move forward as quickly as we can.”

Monday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. and can be watched on channel HBTV-3 or online at huntingtonbeach.legistar.com. Residents are encouraged to send comments on agenda items to supplementalcomm@surfcity-hb.org.

All communications received by 2 p.m. Monday will be distributed to the council prior to consideration of agenda-related items.

Residents can also call in at (669) 900-6833 to listen to the meeting and comment during designated periods. The webinar ID is 999 4025 9527. Once a caller has entered the meeting, the caller will be put in a holding queue to speak in order.

The council chambers will also be open for public comment, but social-distancing measures will be in place and, after making their comments, participants will be asked to leave the chambers. The city will provide an area for viewing the council meeting on television to a limited number of participants.

Time for remarks is limited to three minutes.

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