In short, the City intends to create a known drug property within the ambit of Health & Safety Code 11570 et seq.California Health & Safety Code, 11570 defines, as a matter of law, that “[e]very building or place used for the purpose of unlawfully selling, serving, storing, keeping, manufacturing, or giving away any controlled substance, precursor, or analog specified in this division, and every building or place wherein or upon which those acts take place, is a nuisance which shall be enjoined, abated, and prevented, and for which damages may be recovered, whether it is a public or private nuisance.” The City can apply to the 3rd and Commercial Street project any lofty euphemism it wants, but the reality will remain that the City and its partners in the project will intentionally be creating a nuisance..” Here’s the entire text of the letter from Stunich: Dear City of Eureka: I am writing to you on behalf of a coalition of business and property owners with business interests in close proximity to 3rd and Commercial Streets in Eureka, California and to request records pursuant to California’s Public Records Act.
If it could be said there is an “emergency,” the only emergency would appear to be a self created one by the City.
As I see the situation, on May 2, 2016, the City plans to forcibly remove the homeless from the area near the Bayshore Mall and Humboldt Bay and probably cause some of the poorest and most downtrodden people in our society to lose what little belongings they have in the process with no viable alternative location to live for most of the people that will be dislocated.
The City has, perhaps, been emboldened to participate in the homeless camp project by Government Code, 8698-8698.2 known as the Shelter Crisis Act.
However, that Act gives limited liability protection to political subdivisions only and will not shield the Mercer-Fraser Company, the Betty Kwan Chinn Homeless Foundation, the Humboldt Coalition For Property Rights or those organization’s directors, officers or employees that are directly involved from liability.
What appears to be the situation to me is that there is adequate shelter for those homeless persons that are wiling to clean up, but not for those who remain drug and alcohol abusers.
It follows that the 3rd and Commercial Street Shelter is going to be used to house some of those homeless people that will remain drug and alcohol abusers and/or convicted sex offenders that cannot find housing elsewhere.
I also question whether there is even an “emergency” within the meaning of the Shelter Crisis Act to bring the Act into play.
Your Shelter Crisis Report, dated January 5, 2016, on page 4, states that the EPD has tracked the number of beds at shelters and related facilities and has determined that ‘Eureka has had an adequate number of beds available for those who choose to avail themselves of shelter.” So where is the emergency?
“The City can apply to the 3rd and Commercial Street project any lofty euphemism it wants, but the reality will remain that the City and its partners in the project will intentionally be creating a nuisance.” The letter gets more aggressive as it goes on.
Claiming that the new camp would attract crime, Stunich warns, “Each and every time one of my clients or their employees is a victim of crime, an additional lawsuit will be filed.” While he and his clients believe the homeless should be helped, he says, services should be offered somewhere out of sight, “on the edge of town to draw the homeless away from the business areas …
California law does not allow for the creation of such drug dens just because the drug and alcohol abusers are homeless.