Thousand Oaks City Council | Assisted Living, Block Grants, Landscaping Lighting and More!

By Kevin Harris

Thousand Oaks approved a new memory care facility; Unveiled its 2018-19 Community Development Block Grants and Ad Hoc-chosen non-profits; Agreed to modest landscaping and lighting assessments, and conducted other business during last Tuesday evening’s City Council meeting. 

Land/Zone Changes & Permits for Memory Care Facility

The City Council considered, and approved, the final stage required for a new assisted living facility in Thousand Oaks. From beginning to end, the request required a General Plan Amendment (from medium density residential to institutional); a Zone Change; a Special Use Permit (for a large Oak Tree); and a Negative Declaration (that the project will not result in negative environmental impacts). 

The proposed project will be an 82-bed assisted living facility devoted exclusively to memory care, and meets all requirements for parking, setbacks and landscaping. It will be located at 980 Warwick Avenue. After a presentation given by Community Development Director, Mark Towne, the Council had a chance to ask questions and give comments. 

Council Member Al Adam pointed out that Thousand Oaks already has eight assisted living facilities, with a 9th under construction and a tenth that’s been approved, and this one will make 11, “for a total of 13,072 beds here in the city. Any idea how that compares with other cities of comparable size?”

Unfortunately, Towne did not have the answer to Adam’s pertinent question, but said that “staff would be looking at that independently.” 

During the Public Comments period, it was largely industry reps who spoke, as is often the case in such scenarios. Paul Mullen, who represents the applicant, Silverado Assisted Living, tried to answer Council Member Adam’s question by saying that the amount of assisted living facilities in Thousand Oaks is similar to the amount in Calabasas and parts of the San Fernando Valley, but added that “there’s not a lot in the way of stand-alone memory care, and that’s all that Silverado does.” He also responded to Mayor Pro Tem Rob McCoy’s inquiry by explaining the differences between a memory care facility and a standard living care facility. 

Loren Shook, the President and CEO of Silverado Senior Living, also talked about how his company deals exclusively with memory care facilities, and how his facilities are so well equipped and staffed to handle even the most challenging of patients. “About 15% of our patients come from other assisted care senior facilities,” Shook said, referring to patients those facilities had trouble helping. 

Loren Shook – CEO, Silverado Senior Living

Paul Block is a retired local physician who told the Council that with memory care in Thousand Oaks, he often had to refer patients out of the community, which creates “continuity of care” concerns. He also said it often caused a delay in the referral, because family members were hesitant to send their loved one out of their community. 

The Council then had a chance to ask any follow-up questions to Mark Towne, at which point Council Member Claudia Bill-de la Pena asked about the onsite parking. She pointed out that the project is supposed to have a 1-to-1 ratio of staff to patients, but with 82 beds, how will 49 parking spaces be enough? Mr. Towne’s response did not answer the 1-to-1 staff to patient discrepancy, but it seemed good enough for the Council member.

“The highest number of workers per shift is 36, so the average of one person per resident is probably based on a larger group of employees. But at any one time, based on the largest group of workers, there should be ample parking onsite,” Towne said.

“Thank you for the clarification,” Council Member Bill de la Pena replied. 

The Council approved the Resolution unanimously. 

Community Development Block Grant Budget

During another Public Hearing presented by Community Development Director, Mark Towne, the Council heard the CDBG Action Plan, and funding recommendations for its Social Services Ad Hoc Committee’s 2018-19 fiscal year.

 

The Community Development Block Grant is a Federal program developed by HUD, with the proposed grant of $580,240 to be submitted (mostly for low-income housing). The Social Services Ad Hoc Committee is a nine member committee appointed by the City Council in December, 2017, in order to make grant recommendations to the Council. The committee recommended 23 grants for funding in 2018, totaling about $183,000. 

During the Public Speakers period, about a half dozen non-profits or other organizations made their case to the Council requesting funds or describing the work that they do. 

The Council unanimously approved all measures related to the grant budgets. 

Landscaping & Lighting Assessment

Another Public Hearing centered around increases in local landscaping and lighting costs for the Landscaping & Lighting Assessment District (LLAD). The recommended adjustments for both landscaping and lighting assessments in Thousand Oaks for FY 2018-19 is 3.5%, which exactly matches the Consumer Price Index. 

The Council unanimously approved the recommendations. 

An additional item of business was discussed during Tuesday night’s meeting. A Department Report, called “Municipal Sustainability Plan” for 2018. The city will continue to adopt “green” measures related to its water and transportation fleet uses. No discussions of the associated costs to do so were included in the report. The Council approved the motion unanimously. 

The next Thousand Oaks City Council Meeting will be on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at 6:00 pm. To access the meeting agenda, or to watch the video of the meeting, please go to the following URL, then scroll down and click on “City Council:” http://www.toaks.org/departments/city-manager-s-office/watch-totv/past-meeting-videos.

 

Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris is a reporter, editor and journalist, previous President of Cal State Northridge’s Society of Professional Journalists having worked for the LA Times and Newhall Signal. He is now also a Realtor and videographer, and lives with his two children in Thousand Oaks. 


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One Response to Thousand Oaks City Council | Assisted Living, Block Grants, Landscaping Lighting and More!

  1. William Hicks June 27, 2018 at 8:03 am

    As the population in Thousand Oaks continues to increase its elderly population, the need for adult care facilities will also increase.

    Unfortunately, the desire for open space, Thousand Oaks open space is approximately at 30% of existing land, may be a concern if the city council is both attempting to find “affordable housing” for the need for a younger working force without considering using some of the designated open space to use for future housing.

    Reply

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