City looking at new site for proposed urgent care facility
By Andre Coleman 09/18/2008
An undisclosed location for a proposed urgent care medical facility is being considered by city officials as a replacement for another site in East Pasadena that critics say could substantially increase traffic in a primarily residential neighborhood.
Led by the advocacy group Emergency Care Now!, many residents have insisted that the former St. Luke Medical Center on Washington Boulevard in East Pasadena be used as the site for the proposed urgent care facility, and so far 4,000 people have signed a petition supporting that idea.
But owners of the site, Beverly Hills-based DS Ventures, have other plans for the property, namely building 356 residential units on its 13.4 acres. DS Ventures spokesman Nat Read said the company has filed the necessary paperwork with the city to move the project along.
Pasadena officials are now considering spending $500,000 in federal grant money to place the facility at 3160 E. Del Mar Blvd., a 7.2-acre site owned by the city.
However, activists say putting the facility there would only increase traffic and bring a commercial element to a largely residential area. Eaton Blanche Park, Willard Elementary School and Wilson Middle School are less than a mile from the proposed site, observed former council candidate Gene Masuda.
“It is obvious why the residents of Eaton Blanche are worried,” Masuda stated in a letter co-written by Marvin Schachter, a spokesman for Emergency Care Now!
“City planners and the Health Department are proposing to add three separate activities to the small city-owned lot at 3160 Del Mar: a fire training facility, a police outpost — and the urgent care center. A bad situation will become worse; a monumental example of bad planning,” they said.
City Councilwoman Margaret McAustin and Mayor Bill Bogaard said the city was looking at another location, but would not say where it is located.
“If there is an alternative site that meets the criteria of the provider and the coalition of providers, and it can be completed fairly quickly, then I think it is certainly worth it to take a look at that,” said McAustin.
“From a land-use impact perspective, the Del Mar site is not ideal,” McAustin said. However, she said, “It is expedient. The advantage is it would allow us to get an urgent-care up and running quickly.”
To read a guest opinion piece on these developments by Gene Masuda and Marvin Schachter, follow this link: http://www.pasadenaweekly.com/cms/story/detail/right_project_wrong_place/6410/