Protesters blast OC plan to locate homeless tent city across from Irvine park

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A plan to move hundreds of homeless people from the Santa Ana riverbed to a tent city across from the Great Park in Irvine has a community up in arms.

Neighbors gathered at the Great Park Sunday to protest that proposal and chant "No tent city."

The county has proposed setting up a tent city to house about 400 homeless people relocated from the Santa Ana river beds.

The location is across the street from the Great Park, where families gather every week for a farmers market and sporting events.

"The city of Irvine is taking some aggressive steps to push back on the county ill-advised plan to build a tent city here," said Christina Shea, vice mayor of Irvine.

Protesters are willing to support more permanent solutions for the homeless, but say another encampment will just create more problems in a different location.

"I think it's important to get the rest of the county to realize that if this happens to our city, it could happen to any city," said Parrisa Yazdani, a protest organizer.

She said the land being proposed is contaminated and has been the site of a cleanup, which Irvine's vice mayor confirms.

Irvine's mayor has placed an item on the agenda for next week's board meeting to rescind the proposal.

The protesters also plan to rally Tuesday ahead of the county Board of Supervisors meeting, when the mayor is expected to discuss the issue.
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