Judge denies request to stop San Francisco navigation center construction

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A request to immediately stop the construction of a navigation center along San Francisco's Embarcadero was denied on Monday. The center is next to the residential building where police say a woman was attacked by a homeless man.

RELATED: San Francisco residents question safety of new navigation center following nearby homeless condo attack

Neighbors have argued that the center will attract more crime and drugs into the area.

The alleged attack on a woman by a homeless man last month left many neighbors along the Embarcadero adamantly opposed to the construction of this 200-bed navigation center.

On Monday, they asked a judge to grant a temporary restraining order to immediately stop its construction. They argued that it does irreparable harm to residents.

"I really don't have any show of irreparable harm here..." The judge denied the request because none of the homeless people who would occupy the center have moved in.

The city says the center would open in late November or early December.

Those behind the "Safe Embarcadero for All" group will have another day in court in two weeks when they argue that the land that was given to the city by the state in 1969 is not being used for its intended purpose.

"Turn it into housing for a small number of people and that is irreparable harm to the people who otherwise would use the property and enjoy it for the benefit of all the people of California," said Peter Prows, an attorney for "Safe Embarcadero for All."

RELATED: Video shows new attack near where woman was assaulted by homeless man

The city insists that because the center will be temporary, two to four years, it didn't need approval from the State Lands Commission.

Wallace Lee, a neighbor, said the area already has a navigation center nearby.

"The last navigation center that opened is less than a mile away from this one," Lee said.

He's right, according to supervisor Matt Haney, who supports building the navigation center in his district. But District 6 already has three navigation centers.

"There should be one in each district. Our district cannot continue to bear the entire burden of providing shelter for everyone," he said.

But mayor London Breed says finding empty lots to build them continues to be a challenge. "It can't be about focusing on trying to have one in every district. It should be about focusing on identifying locations wherever they are."

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