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California Coastal Commission approves plan to turn H Barracks into safe parking site

Posted at 8:23 PM, Jul 10, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)— The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday night to approve the City of San Diego's application to turn the H Barracks in Point Loma into a safe parking lot for the unhoused.

Demolition on the barracks has already started, as the city began looking into using the property to allow people to sleep in their cars. The city says people who use the lot, which would have 190 spaces, would have access to homeless services and showers.

However, some neighbors in Point Loma opposed the plan. Members of "Point Loma Cares" and spoke at the Coastal Comission meeting with concerns about the project.

Their gripes about the safe parking site center around safety for those in the area, noise pollution for the homeless from the nearby San Diego Airport, and the property size if the City were to turn the lot into a shelter instead.

In its plan to the Commission, the City of San Diego laid out a second phase for the project, which would turn the property into a 600-person shelter. The city told the Coastal Commissioners on Wednesday that it had hired a third party to remediate the property from asbestos and lead.

Multiple people opposed the plan during public comment Wednesday night, arguing the city has been deceptive in sharing the second phase.

The property will be converted into a pure water facility in five years, according to the city, but the city plans to use the lot in the meantime.

City Council President Sean Elo Rivera says he supports the plan and disagrees with how some of the neighbors have chosen to fight against it.

"The idea that people are spending money to oppose a place for people to sleep in their cars at night? That does rub me the wrong way. I'm [going to] be honest. I think we can be better than that," he said.

ABC 10News contacted members of the neighbor opposition group who refrained from speaking while the Coastal Commission was still discussing the plan.

The City said the safe parking site could be ready near the beginning of next year.