Wholesome Dwelling Campus in Redondo Seashore publishes draft EIR

The Healthy Living Campus is designed to provide residents with a “sense of place,” said Tom Bakaly, CEO of Beach Cities Health District. Rendered courtesy of the Beach Cities Health District

by Kevin Cody

The Beach Cities health district reached a major turning point for the second time since its inception in 1955 with the release of the nearly 1,200-page draft of the Healthy Living Campus Environmental Impact Report on Wednesday.

The proposed Healthy Living Campus would be a $ 374 million, 253,700 square foot, 11 acres complex across from Prospect Avenue in South Redondo.

Its design echoes architect Paul Murdoch’s college campus projects and his Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Murdoch’s renderings show a white circular communal wellness pavilion surrounded by 2.5 acres of grass. The perimeter is lined with youth and senior centers and 220 senior citizens’ homes, which are laid out in the form of an arch.

The sharp break with the box-shaped Bauhaus architecture of the original hospital symbolizes a sharp change in direction of the district.

At the end of the 90. of the draft EIR On June 10th, the elected board of trustees of the BCHD will vote on whether the project should be continued or not.

BCHD is one of 24 special district hospital agencies in California that do not have a hospital.

South Bay Hospital, which the district was founded to fund in 1955, closed in 1998. But the district’s property appraisal didn’t stop there. The district collects nearly $ 4 million in property taxes annually from the three beach towns.

An early illustration of the Healthy Living Campus showed 420 senior-assisted living units. In the meantime the number has been reduced to 220 units. Renderings courtesy of the Beach Cities Health District

Shortly before the South Bay Hospital closed, its board of trustees adopted the name Beach Cities Health District and focused its efforts on preventive, community medical services.

Current programs range from obesity prevention for school children to counseling and self-help groups for all age groups to senior programs such as PACE (programs for all-inclusive care for the elderly).

The largely free programs are funded not only through property appraisals, but also through leases, partnerships, grants, and the BCHD’s health and fitness facilities. Real estate valuations account for just over a quarter of the district’s annual revenue of $ 15 million.

Should the board of directors decide in June to move the Healthy Living Campus forward, the district’s services and revenue will expand significantly.

BCHD CEO Tom Bakaly describes the Healthy Living Campus as “a sense of place” for the community. An indoor swimming pool is planned for the ground floor of the Community Wellness Pavilion. A fitness studio, a demonstration kitchen as well as conference and research facilities would be built on the upper floors.

Bakaly sees the campus as a center for research projects such as the three-year “Healthy Minds Study” that the district recently sponsored. The study enrolled 500 Beach City residents to determine the effects of active and passive lifestyles on cognitive and mental health.

A youth wellness center will provide learning and social facilities as well as medical and mental health services. BCHD was approved by Stanford University’s Allcove Project for a $ 500,000 grant to provide youth psychological counseling services.

The 2.5 hectare open space is designed for sports courses and informal meetings.

The 220-unit Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) facility represents “a continuity of our programs for older adults,” said Bakaly.

The Healthy Living Campus emerged from a board discussion in 2009 about the future use of the district’s 11 acres, nearly half of which are parking lots and undeveloped hills. The board was also concerned about the seismic fitness of the 60-year-old former hospital that now houses 60 Silverado Memory Care residents, as well as the district’s gym and rented offices.

The board initially proposed developing 420 senior citizens’ apartments for independent living. They would serve the dual purpose of sheltering seniors and funding the county’s expanding health services. In 2019, in response to complaints from the neighborhood about the density of the proposal, the district reduced the number of senior units to 220 (including the 60 existing Silverado units). It also changed the proposed use of independent to assisted senior living.

Beach City residents approved the establishment of the South Bay Hospital District by a vote of 4,321 to 824 in 1955. However, the board does not expect similar unanimous support for the Healthy Living Campus as trustee Vanessa Poster’s response to a reporter’s request for an interview this week. Poster was re-elected for a sixth term last December and participated in the Healthy Living Campus opening discussions.

“We manage the entire press through the employees,” replied Poster by e-mail to the interview request.

In addition to traffic concerns, opponents of the project claim that the projected rent of $ 12,000 per month is not achievable for most of the residents the district was established for.

Bakaly said the high rates were an unintended consequence of reducing the number of elderly care facilities by about 50 percent.

“A lot of it is about compromise,” said Bakaly. “We try to balance health needs, financial needs and concerns of our neighbors.” IS

Comments on the Healthy Living Campus

Public comments on the Healthy Living Campus draft EIR will be accepted until June 10, 2021.

Comments can be submitted:

Online at bchdcampus.org./eir.

Per email to [email protected]

By post to: Nick Meisinger regarding: Healthy Living Campus, Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc. 9177 Sky Park Ct. San Diego, CA 92123

Comments can also be made at public hearings in the Beach Cities Health District on the following dates:

Wed., March 24th, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, April 13th 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Sat., April 17th, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

You can find more information about the Healthy Living Campus at bchdcampus.org./eir. IS

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