San Diego City Council today unanimously approved a vacant lot at the corner of 16th Street and Island Avenue as the location for an emergency homeless shelter this coming winter.

The $680,000 shelter will provide 200 beds for homeless men and women, and operate from Dec. 3 to April 1.

The shelter’s location is an annual political hot potato. Council invariably hears complaints from business owners and residents of the neighborhoods where the shelter is slated to go. Council has dealt with this in recent years by putting the shelter’s location up for a new vote each year.

Over the past winter the shelter was at Tailgate Park, next to Petco Park. However, per an agreement with the Padres, the city agreed that it would only be there for one winter. For the previous eight years, the shelter operated at Newton Avenue in Barrio Logan. Neighborhood residents successfully lobbied to have it moved from that location in 2007.

DAVID WASHBURN

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