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Anaheim Council Postpones Decision on Eli Home Proposal : Government: Officials, voicing concern that the shelter may exceed height limitations, ask that design plans be resubmitted. An account of its counseling program is also requested.

August 03, 1994|MARTIN MILLER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

ANAHEIM — Citing concerns over design and safety, the City Council postponed a decision Tuesday on whether to allow a home for abused women and children in the upscale Anaheim Hills neighborhood.

The Eli Home's proposal to renovate a rundown building has drawn protests from some residents who say it would be inappropriate and detrimental to the affluent neighborhood. The council's vote was based both on that concern and on a decision that the remodeling plans would exceed the city's height limitations.

The council asked Eli Home officials to resubmit their design plans.

"There are a lot of questions that remain," Mayor Tom Daly said. "The fact is this has been a single-family neighborhood for a long, long time."

Council members instructed Eli Home officials to give a detailed account of their counseling program at the next hearing.

Honored by two Presidents for outstanding community service, the Eli Home wants to renovate a dilapidated structure at 100 S. Canyon Crest Drive, where seven families could be housed. The Eli Home, which offers emergency shelter and counseling to victims of abuse, can only accommodate five families at its former site in Orange.

In letters to the City Council, Anaheim Hills neighbors said the Eli Home would have a "devastating" impact on their community. They argue that it violates zoning codes, will create parking problems and may bring violence to their affluent community.

Neighbors said they are frightened that an angry spouse may attack someone at the shelter or in the neighborhood.

But Eli Home officials said that would be highly unlikely. None of Orange County's 24 emergency shelters has reported a violent attack by a former spouse, according to Lorri Galloway, executive director of the Eli Home.

Annually, the shelter aids more than 1,000 clients, mostly youths who have suffered emotional, physical or sexual abuse.

The Eli Home bought the Anaheim Hills property for $125,000, and its officials say the new location is ideal. With an annual budget of $25,000, the Eli Home derives almost all its funds from donations and grants.

The council voted 4 to 1 to reopen the public hearing Sept. 27, but will only permit testimony directly related to the revised design plans.

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