By Eric Heinz

The city of San Clemente has been ordered to pay $480,000 in attorney fees to three legal firms. This follows a previous ruling that San Clemente did not comply with zoning regulations mandated by Senate Bill 2 to allow for adequate land for an emergency or homeless shelter provider to establish such a location.

City Attorney Scott Smith said he thinks the city’s legal insurer, the California Joint Powers Insurance Authority, is unlikely to cover the costs because of a provision set by the Attorney General’s office that applies to circumstances such as this.

“The fees had already been awarded with the original judgement, and it was just a question of how much, and so it could have been a lot worse than it was,” Smith said.

The organization that sued the city is the Emergency Shelter Coalition.

The original request was for $1.2 million for the fees, but the judge awarded $482,000 to the coalition’s representatives.

Now that the lawsuit has been determined, those who sued could apply to establish an emergency shelter in the city’s designated areas in Rancho San Clemente Business Park.

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comments (5)

  • All of this brought to you by a failed State Governor and his leadership.

    This misses the point about the homeless and how to best address their needs entirely. Worse is it politicizes their plight. Not cool.

    This is happening because our State leaders are deflecting their responsibility to address the needs of the homeless and instead just dumping it on the counties and cities to deal with requirements and no funding.

    Because conditions in the US have worsened it has increased the homeless population across the country. To make it worse the governor refuses to accept the severity of this problem –

    I am not one to kick people when they are down myself. To resolve any issue we must look at the root cause and where possible learn from what others have done successfully.

    To really help the homeless is must be run at the state level. To do otherwise would simply cause the homeless to overwhelm the capacities of local efforts.

    The state of Utah has implemented solutions that have reduced the homeless population by 90%. Other states have learned from Utah and implemented their own state-level programs based what was learned from Utah.

    So what are the state leaders in California doing? Deflecting. Instead of following in the footsteps of successful solutions other states have implemented they are adding laws forcing local counties and/or cities to do what the state doesn’t want to do with no funding whatsoever.

    So if you want to talk about what is actually broken and how to fix it you need to go to the root cause of the issue. In this case, it is the California state leaders that are setting the precedent of ignoring and discriminating against the homeless.

    In the meantime, this is just another sound bite that will no doubt be politicized without any regard to what this is really about.

  • your solution and the states is very charitable but i think at least half the problem is that charity itself and at least half of these folks we are talking about are able to do better and get a J_O_B

    who doesn’t wish to spend their day drinking on the beach and assaulting our citizens with panhandling ,,, after all they don’t have to be good neighbors because they have no address

    so to thin this problem out first we need to make it difficult to be homeless not easy ,
    make it illegal to harvest crv’s from private trash cans this is a major fuel of homelessness and the addiction of alcoholism , start enforcing panhandling , drunk in public , and vagrancy laws and record it this will create a data base and possible sober these folks up so they can get a J_O_B

  • I hope this helps our City Council be more cautious about actions that can lead to legal trouble, and to pay closer attention to State regulations. San Clemente wastes so much money fighting ill-advised legal battles.

  • true jackie 480k would have bought the property
    i hope in the future we learn to partner with other same minded communities against the state’s bad policies

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