Senior Living Proposal Comes To Council

LA MESA -- Perhaps the second time around will be a charm.
The City Council will consider Tuesday night on an agreement that will try once again to bring a new development to 3.3 acres of city land near Briercrest Park.
If the council approves, the Westmont Companies of San Diego, an experienced senior living developer, will be granted the right to build a senior living facility on the parcel, which also adjoins State Road 125 and is adjacent to the Sharp Grossmont campus.

The city attempted to attract a developer in 2003 and signed an agreement with a developer. However, that project failed to find adequate funding and the property ended up tied up in litigation between the city and the original developer. The city prevailed in that litigation and was able to seek a new developer for the land.
City staffers analyzing the development proposal this time around believe Westmont's singular business -- senior living -- and the company's superior finances will bring the project to fruition this time.
Such senior living facilities are considered well located when in close proximity to medical and other community facilities. The Wakarusa Road location is within walking distance of the trolley and Grossmont Center as well as Sharp's full medical facilities.
Westmont is a family-owned company that operates 14 similar facilities in California, Washington and Oregon, including a recently opened facility at San Miguel Ranch in Chula Vista. That Westmont both builds and operates its facilities was considered a plus by the city analysis of competing bids proposals for the property.

If the council goes along with the staff recommendation, the city and Westmont will enter into further negotiations on the final details of the project.

In addition to this senior development proposal, the council will also revisit Tuesday night a proposal brought up at an earlier meeting that could make redevelopment of property within the city's historic Village area more possible.

The council will weigh a plan in which developers could pay $25,000 per parking space into a city fund in lieu of providing parking on the redeveloped property. This "in lieu" fund would eventually be used to build a downtown parking structure when demand for on-street and existing lot parking in the Village eventually exceeds demand.

Recent studies have shown that existing parking in the Village area exceeds demand, but building codes hold developers of individual properties to providing specific parking spaces within the redevelopment plans. That essentially precludes much development because the lots often don't include the requisite room for parking.

Approval of this "in-lieu" parking plan would allow more intense development of some properties while allowing the parking needs generated to use existing street and municipal lots. When the need arises, the "in-lieu" fund would help pay for a future parking garage.

City Council meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers on Allison Avenue.

CLICK HERE for the full agenda.

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Tags: Briercrest Park, La Mesa Healthcare, La Mesa Today, Sharp Grossmont, Westmont Companies

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