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Orange County Considers Relocating Homeless To Irvine

IRVINE (CBSLA) — A plan to send hundreds of homeless people from the Santa Ana riverbed to several Orange County cities has apparently been flipped. Now they are looking into sending all of them to one city -- Irvine.

As CBSLA's Michele Gile reports, the homeless camping out in Santa Ana's Civic Center and a few hundred more who would be relocated from the riverbed could be moved to Irvine's Great Park under the new plan suggested by Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.

Last Tuesday night after hundreds stormed the Laguna Niguel City Council meeting, Bartlett told the crowd that she'd introduce the Irvine plan next week.

Related: South Orange County Homeless Plan Sparks Outrage

Supervisor Todd Spitzer, whose district includes Irvine, opposes the idea of a tent city on the parcel of land. He says they are the people who refuse to go to the shelters and they don't belong near soccer fields and neighborhoods.

"These in my opinion are the population that is the worst of the worst and they do include sex offenders. They do include people coming out of our state prison that have been dumped into our communities and it's just not appropriate," said Spitzer.

There have been threats of litigation ever since the Board of Supervisors voted Monday to put the homeless in tents in three different cities -- Laguna Niguel, Huntington Beach and Irvine.

Irvine's mayor is not at all happy.

"At this point this land, to house a population that has already established that it is unwilling in large measure to seek help. Which is why you have all of the drug use in that community. It's why you have all of that waste that was pulled out of the riverbed. There is no sense in my mind to recreating that in Irvine," said Irvine Mayor Don Wagner.

The Irvine city attorney is exploring what legal options the city can take to stop the homeless relocation to Great Park.

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