[symple_googlemap title=”Lot” location=”1000 N. Kraemer Place, Anaheim, CA” height=”300″ zoom=”17″]Orange County supervisors began the process Tuesday of acquiring a 1.87-acre, $4.25 million parcel of land in Anaheim to potentially become the site of a year-round homeless shelter.

The unanimous vote begins a 90-day “due diligence” process that includes the inspection of the site at 1000 N. Kraemer Place.

The vote follows multiple false starts on finding a spot for a year- round homeless shelter. Most previous sites were doomed by neighbors who feared a rise in crime and pollution in their neighborhoods.

The latest property being eyed is considered an easier sell by some officials since it is next to a Riverside (91) Freeway on-ramp and a strip club and not as close to schools or homes.

About 50 people addressed the board on the proposal, with many supporting the site and some residents and business owners in opposition. Chris Vance, owner of Piano Empire Megastore at 3035 E. Las Mesa St., told the supervisors he was concerned a homeless shelter might drive away business.

“My life will be forever changed,” Vance said, adding his business is at “ground zero” for the homeless shelter.

“My financial well-being will weigh in the balance. I will lose millions of dollars — a heavy price for me to pay for a homeless shelter,” he said.

Orange County Board Chairman Todd Spitzer assured Vance that he would personally meet with him to discuss his issues. Spitzer added it was particularly important for officials to hold a couple of town hall meetings to solicit feedback.

“There’s a lot of joy and celebration today, and a lot of legitimate consternation,” Spitzer said. “We will have some very important conversations (with the public). … Everyone wants to do this with cooperation and conversation.”

The supervisors will not pull the trigger on the deal until soliciting public feedback, Spitzer vowed.

Attorney Keith McCullough, who has been retained by opponents of the project, warned supervisors that they would be violating the state’s open meetings law, known as the Brown Act, unless they first vet the process under the terms of the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.

Anaheim City Councilwoman Kris Murray and Fullerton City Councilman Doug Chaffee spoke in favor of the 200-bed shelter. Their city councils have approved spending $500,000 apiece to help pay for the project.

Last year, the supervisors thought they had a deal with Santa Ana for a shelter in an industrial area at 1217 E. Normandy Place, but Santa Ana City Council members who previously backed it reversed course under pressure from neighbors.

In 2013, county officials thought they found an ideal site in a shuttered furniture store in Fullerton, but the City Council there shot it down by a 3-2 vote. Again, opposition from neighbors helped kill the project.

During the winter, most of the area’s chronically homeless rely on the county’s Armory Emergency Shelter Program, which has about 400 beds, but has to be closed during warmer weather.

— City News Service

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