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    Santa Paula: New Motel and New Rehab Home

    by Sheryl Hamlin

    The Santa Paula Planning Commission approved two projects during the October 27, 2020 meeting.

    Harvard Motel

    This project was previously reviewed at the September 2019 meeting. Read that report here. Nothing has changed since the original concept review. With only 100 hotel rooms in Santa Paula … Santa Paula Inn (14), Ocean Gateway (50), Glen Tavern Inn (36)… the additional 25 rooms will fill a gap on the east side of town.

    Commissioner Fourage asked about time limits of client stays. The CUP (Conditional Use Permit) specifies less than one month. Planner Arroyo indicated that by code the stay was limite to less than 30 days. There was a discussion about the city’s TOT (Transit Occupancy Tax) of 10%, but no figure was given as to a potential revenue source for the city.

    The project will utilize MWELO (read about these new landscaping standards here).

    The item passed unanimously.

    Rehab Home on Telegraph

    The proposed 16 bed Community Care Facility at 811 Telegraph falls in the category of California Group Home (non-medical or no medical treatment) with stays less than 18 months per code. The application was put forth by The Alvarado Institute and the Sloan Family Trust. This is a sub-acute “voluntary” program where patients are struggling with behavioral and mental health issues. The stays range from 24 hours to 21 days.

    Planner Tarantino stated that the project does not cause an overconcentration of such types of institutions. It is within the 300’ radius of a school, but the applicant says it does not take registered sex offenders. Note the key word here is “registered”, which means the applicant is not on a California database of sex offenders. A previous rehab project was approved for the canyons.

    The applicant stated there is a 14 to 21 day treatment but did not elaborate on success measurements. Discharge is based on medical criteria, but he did not elaborate. 50% of the patients suffer from major depression and sometimes are bi-polar. Transportation will be provided upon discharge.

    Citizen Comments

    Pam Macklin wrote in opposition saying it is too close to the school and should have been a public rather than a Zoom meeting. Alcohol sales in the vicinity could be a liability.

    Sheryl Hamlin asked for a definition of the release criteria and locations. The applicant indicated the client would be released to another residential facility, sober living, group home or independent living space. Asked about costs per day, the applicant said it depended on the client’s insurance status. In other words, the more insurance the client carries, the more the client pays. Asked about homeless clients, the applicant said they do take homeless patients who will meet with housing specialists after the treatment. He did not indicate the payment process for a homeless client.

    Gabriel Sandoval of 15896 W. Telegraph said her family had lived in this area for 40 years and felt the home would have a disproportionate effect on a disadvantaged part of town. The area has had violence including gun shots to their home.

    Commission Discussion

    Commissioner Fourage asked about homeless clients. The applicant indicated that the inability to pay will not eliminate a person who needs service. However, there will be a medical interview to determine if the client needs medication. They will take “stabilized” patients and refer out the others who are too acute for their model. Clients are screened over the phone, said the applicant, and do not generally “drop in” unless the person was a previous client who is returning for help.

    Commission Herber asked if the small patio was enough outdoor space. The applicant felt it was because the clients will be taken on group outings and can use computers and televisions inside.

    Commissioner Ikerd asked about staffing to which the applicant said there is staff 24 hours a day on three shifts. There is a director and physician on call.

    Commission Fourage asked if this was a purchase or a lease. The applicant indicated purchase but did not describe the funding source saying the close of the property is the “final hurdle”.

    The project passed unanimously.

    To download the material, click here.

    Future Items

    Commissioner Dunkel asked to consider returning to in-person meetings as a topic for a future meeting.

    To read about the author, click sherylhamlin dot com

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