Orange County to Crackdown on Homeless Camps Along Santa Ana River

A homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River is seen on Sept. 12, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

A homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River is seen on Sept. 12, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

Orange County will begin enforcing public access hours Friday on a stretch of the Santa Ana River trail between Huntington Beach and Anaheim, a move that is expected to displace a large population of homeless people who have set up camp along the river, including in Fountain Valley.

The plan, which county officials announced Monday, also calls for permanently closing the west side of the flood control channel between 17th Street in Santa Ana and Adams Avenue in Huntington Beach beginning Nov. 10. The east side of the channel will remain open during public hours, which are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Wednesday.

Beginning Friday, people on the Santa Ana River trail outside the posted hours will be considered in violation of state trespassing laws and will be cited, officials said.

“The enforcement of public hours will enable the county to ensure the safety and security of the recreational users of the trail while simultaneously protecting the integrity of the flood control channel for its intended purpose,” Khalid Bazmi, chief engineer of the Orange County Flood Control District, wrote in a memo to the Board of Supervisors.

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