The Placer County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to allow a temporary change of use for county-owned property in North Auburn that could allow the facility to be used as an emergency homeless shelter. District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, says the original request was for a zoning change, however, the Supervisors voted on a work around solution.
A nonprofit group known as Right Hand Auburn Inc. has proposed opening a temporary shelter at the Placer County Government Center-commonly known as the DeWitt Center. The temporary permit would remain in effect up to a year, but would allow Right Hand Auburn to operate a shelter on a three-month trial basis. the permit was issued to Placer County and not to Right Hand Auburn. As a result the county has more flexibility to pull the permit if the shelter opens and has negative impacts that cannot be resolved.
The building that is proposed for the shelter was originally built in the 1940s.
The building has been vacant for approximately eight months.
Montgomery says Right Hand Auburn is working with County staff to prepare a plan and expects more details to be brought to the Supervisors at the February 24th meeting.
Montgomery points out that Placer County has always been legally compliant, but feels it is time to do more for constituents and this proposal meets the needs of the homelss as well as protects the surrounding communities and employees at the DeWitt Center.
Jennifer Montgomery is the Placer County Supervisor that represents communities from Auburn to North Lake Tahoe.