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San Clemente Planners to ID Best Spot for a Potential Homeless Shelter

San Clemente officials have identified several potential sites, including the Rancho San Clemente Business Park and the former Big Lots/Kmart retail center.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

San Clemente will once again tackle where a homeless shelter should go just in case someone wants to build one in the city.

A law signed by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 requires cities to remove the stumbling blocks from organizations which may want to offer transitional housing for the homeless.

Since then, San Clemente leaders have been struggling to determine which area would be best. The Planning Commission will discuss the matter at its Wednesday meeting.

The city’s website emphasizes that just because an area is zoned for a homeless shelter doesn’t mean one would be built.

“In Orange County, 31 cities have complied with [Senate Bill] 2. Of the O.C. cities that have adopted SB 2 ordinances, none have built a shelter as a result of SB 2 zoning,” the city reports.

San Clemente officials have identified several potential sites, including the Rancho San Clemente Business Park, which was met by strong resistance in March. The Planning Commission at that time directed staff to look at all potential sites, including:

  • Rancho San Clemente Business Park Association open-space “triangle lot” adjacent to Avenida Pico
  • Big Lots/Kmart Retail Center
  • Calle de Industrias area behind Denny’s Restaurant, on Avenida Pico;
  • Vacant City-owned lot adjacent to the Water Treatment Facility
  • Vacant site adjacent to Heritage Church
  • Rancho San Clemente Industrial Park
  • Rancho San Clemente Business Park
  • Churches

State laws requires areas zoned for the transitional housing be close to public transportation, social services and jobs, among other things.

San Clemente Police Services estimate there are 65-70 homeless people on average throughout the various seasons, according to a letter from Deputy Joe Bull.

The Planning Commission meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Civic Center, 100 Avenida Presidio. 

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