O.C. Now

Huntington Beach

'Nothing suspicious' in activist's death

Two weeks after author and activist Jim Purcey died in a parking garage fire at his Huntington Beach apartment complex, police said there was "nothing suspicious" about his death.

Supervising Deputy Coroner Dan Aikin of the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Huntington Beach Police Lt. Russell Reinhart said the cause of the May 31 fire was still under investigation. Reinhart said detectives were awaiting the results of a toxicology report, which could take up to two months.

He noted, though, that Purcey's death appeared to be either an accident or suicide.

"There's nothing suspicious about it at this time, but we're still waiting for all those reports before we do anything else with the investigation," Reinhart said.

—Michael Miller

Council to vote on RV storage lot

The City Council is expected to vote Monday on a proposal to replace a nursery with a recreational vehicle storage lot behind a residential community.

The proposal has neighbors up in arms, despite concessions by the developer.

The Ward Garfield Specific Plan would turn a portion of land owned by Southern California Edison, and used by the Village Nurseries Landscape Center, into a storage lot for less than 400 RVs and a rental office.

The original proposal was slated to fit more than 557 RVs behind Mariner's Pointe Mobile Home Park and Aragon Circle, a residential neighborhood near Yorktown Avenue and Ward Street.

The proposal has been modified to maintain the nursery behind Aragon Circle to address neighbors' concerns, said Wayne Carvalho, a representative with Michael C. Adams Associates, the project applicant.

The developer, Doc Rivers, is willing to work with the neighbors, Carvalho said.

If the project is approved, Rivers will work with the park owner to construct a taller fence between the residents and the storage lot, he said.

"He's never been one to just shove the project down the neighbor's throat," he said.

Rivers could not be immediately reached for comment Monday.

—Britney Barnes

Laguna Beach

New homeless shelter opens

The relocated Laguna Beach emergency homeless shelter, or Alternative Sleeping Location, began accepting lodgers Tuesday, according to city officials.

The nightly shelter at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road replaces the temporary facility that has been in place since November at the ACT V parking lot at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road. The new facility is between the Dog Park and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

Homeless people will be picked up at the city bus depot on Broadway beginning at 6 p.m. and transported by van to the new shelter, which is about a mile farther up the canyon from the former shelter site.

The new facility is about 700 square feet larger, and will provide nightly housing to about 30 people, according to Laguna Beach Assistant City Manager John Pietig. The city is accepting only "local" homeless people, while those from out of the area are permitted one night's stay and are given assistance to find shelter elsewhere.

The ACT V facility was a large room, but the new facility will have showers, a small kitchen, storage area, office for case managers to work with the homeless and a computer room to assist homeless in finding jobs and services, according to a city staff report.

The additional facilities will be provided through a $65,000 gift from the Laguna Relief & Resource Coalition, which has been providing emergency food and services to needy families and homeless individuals for many years.

—Barbara Diamond

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World