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By Eric Heinz
The city of San Clemente repealed its current emergency shelter ordinance and will establish new zones for an emergency shelter. The move comes after a judge determined in a lawsuit that the city’s current emergency shelter plans are out of compliance with Senate Bill 2, which requires governments to establish adequate and accessible zoning areas for shelters.
The lawsuit was filed by Emergency Shelter Coalition in Orange County Superior Court.
The crux of the issue is that the emergency shelters could and would most likely be used for homeless shelters. In San Clemente, officials have identified at least 70 people who are chronically homeless, but more do come in on a daily basis.
Because the city had only designated its own surplus land and not any areas where private land could be used for a shelter, it was only the city that could determine where a shelter could possibly go, and the judge found that to be out of compliance with the intention of the bill.
The city must come into compliance with the lawsuit, which was decided upon July 1, within 120 days. Within that time, a new emergency shelter zoning ordinance must be adopted by the city.