City Council Panel Deals Setback to Proposed Homeless Housing Project in Boyle Heights

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Los Angeles City Council committee has rebuffed the city’s blue-ribbon homeless housing advocates, siding with a Boyle Heights shopping center owner who opposed a project to build 49 units for mentally ill homeless people.

Shoppers exit the El Mercado shopping center in Boyle Heights. A City Council committee has rejected a nonprofit developer's plan to build housing for the homeless nearby. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Shoppers exit the El Mercado shopping center in Boyle Heights. A City Council committee has rejected a nonprofit developer’s plan to build housing for the homeless nearby. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

In a procedure that provoked cries of bewilderment from the project’s supporters, Councilman Jose Huizar — without calling a vote — declared Tuesday that the planning and land-use management committee had granted an appeal of the project’s environmental clearance.

If backed by the full council, the appeal would require an environmental report that could further delay a project that has been in the works more than five years and increase the cost of its subsidized housing.

When shouts from the audience demanded a vote, Huizar, who chairs the committee, simply asked if there were any objections. The other committee members remained silent.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.