Planning commission stands by original decision to reject proposed shelter for immigrant children

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - The Escondido Planning Commission is standing by its original decision to reject a proposal to turn an old nursing home into a shelter for undocumented children.

Supporters of the proposal marched through the streets of Escondido to city hall in hopes that the planning commission would reconsider.  

At the board's meeting Tuesday evening, dozens blasted the board for its June decision to not approve a permit to turn a former senior care facility in the 1800 block of Avenida del Diablo into a facility for undocumented, unaccompanied children between 6 and 17 years of age.

On June 24, before a packed crowd at Escondido City Hall, the commission voted not to move forward with the proposal for a 96-bed facility with a six-foot fence.

"I was horrified at the last planning commission for Escondido and these refugee children," said a supporter.

Another added, "We need to take on the moral responsibility of standing against bigotry, hate and intolerance."

Despite the emotional pleas, the board stood by its original vote.

"Again, Escondido has failed the community and our American values," said Fredi Avalos, a supporter of the shelter.

Opponents of the shelter say the board did the right thing.

"Where it was situated wasn't good for the neighborhood, wasn't good for the property value," said Rigo Avelar. "There's nothing good about it."

Supporters of the shelter have 10 days to appeal the decision, starting Wednesday.

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