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RIVERSIDE (CBSLA.com) — Some residents in Riverside County are one step closer to gaining the right to build underground survival bunkers on their property.

An ordinance to regulate underground storage facilities and bunkers used as short-term residences during emergencies was passed unanimously Tuesday by the Menifee City Council.

The proposal first introduced last October allows for the city to oversee the construction of any facility or structure “to be used for storing personal property of the property owner such as a root cellar, or a wine cellar, or serving as a shelter or bunker forsafety purposes in the event of a disaster, either natural or man-made”.

About two dozen residents were present for the vote, with supporters arguing property owners should have the right to build protective shelters against fires and other natural disasters on their own land.

Critics, however, said the measure would serve to conceal criminal activity such as drug labs.

The ordinance is expected to pass after a final vote scheduled within the next 30 days.

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