News

Supervisors block attempt to stop mental health facility in Walnut Creek

Doctor seeks to convert eldercare home on Tice Valley into ‘social rehabilitation facility’

Contra Costa County supervisors last Tuesday denied an appeal by residents concerned that a new residential mental health facility in unincorporated Walnut Creek would violate zoning laws or compromise neighborhood safety.

Dr. Gregory Braverman and National Psychiatric Care and Rehabilitation Services sought a permit to convert an existing residential eldercare facility into a "social rehabilitation facility." The building is in the 2000 block of Tice Valley Boulevard and will serve 12 to 16 people experiencing short-term mental health crises.

The county's zoning administrator approved the facility's permit in November, and that decision was upheld by the county’s Planning Commission in May. At least two neighbors filed letters with the county appealing that decision, however.

The primary point of contention revolved around whether zoning laws allowed for a mental health facility to be established in a building previously approved for elder care. But the letters of appeal, which are available on the county's website, also cite concerns over increased calls for emergency services and supposed nuisances that could be associated with the presence of the mentally ill.

After a presentation from the project applicant on the nature of the planned facility, as well as a public comment period during which people argued both sides of the conflict, the board consulted with the county's lawyer — who said that the arguments about inappropriate zoning lacked merit.

District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis said she was "personally a little offended" by some of the arguments presented against the facility, saying that such misinformation contributes to the stigma currently faced by the mentally ill.

Board Chair John Gioia said the meeting served as a reminder that “we,” as a society, still have work to do in that regard.

"We all have mental health issues," Gioia said. "The question is where on the continuum we fall."

"I hope this reminds us of the need to really do better education to inform communities so that there's not the same level of concern or fear," Gioia added.

Supervisor Candace Andersen made the motion, Burgis seconded and the board voted unanimously to deny the appeal, citing a broad need to destigmatize mental health problems and mental health care as well as the established demand for such care in Contra Costa County.

— Bay City News Service

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Comments

9 people like this
Posted by Mark Redhorse
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Aug 5, 2019 at 5:36 am

This is not strictly a "mental health" facility according to this article. It's listed as a "short term social rehabilitation" facility. That is NOT a "mental health facility, what this means is it will be able to be used as a drug rehab, (there's no such thing as "short term mental health" diagnosis) and this is how they sneak it in to neighborhoods. There were 2 in the neighborhood we used to live in in southern California and it was drama all the time. They were taking in recovering alcoholics as well as drug addicts and their were fights, burglaries, and noise everyday. Finally a group of residents sued the county and they were forced out. All I can say is good luck with that.


7 people like this
Posted by Kraija90
a resident of another community
on Aug 5, 2019 at 4:46 pm

Shame on you. This is the stigma that stops people from getting the treatment they deserve. Even a drug rehab is a sickness.


13 people like this
Posted by Mark Redhorse
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Aug 5, 2019 at 9:32 pm

Then they should call it just that.." a drug and alchohol rehab." Not a mental health facility. I don't have a problem with rehabs, but using mental health as a guide also puts a stigma on mental health homes. They're NOT the same, and they give the wrong idea. I am a huge mental health advocate and in fact years ago volunteered at a home in orange county. Those clients didn't suffer from an addiction and recieved totally different treatment.


10 people like this
Posted by Tetris
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Aug 5, 2019 at 10:10 pm

Mark Redhorse is absolutely on point. Kraija90 if you were one of those neighbors you would be singing a different tune... If not you will be after a few months of the rehab opening. I wonder how much kick backs these city council members are getting...


9 people like this
Posted by Paul Kersey
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Aug 6, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Oh, just wait and see. I work in law enforcement in the largest city in the bay area and I am constantly dealing with re-hab facilities which are posed under the guise of, "Mental Health." Redhorse is right, all the unwanted ills will come with it. The theft rate at the shopping center with Safeway will soar along with the other problems. Those in Rossmoor should lock their doors. Just ask the Dr. Who started this whole mess what his $$ take is. You'll be surprised at the government funding. Walnut Creek PD might as well post someone there. Stand by......


1 person likes this
Posted by Stop the Stigma
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 8, 2019 at 9:38 am

I am so pleased to see that there is finally a much needed facility in the works. We have to start somewhere. Our young, friends and families are dying from this disease because there is no proper care available right here in our own backyards. Mental illness and Substance Abuse all go hand in hand. Obviously we need a facility to educate those who create stigma and are judgemental. That behavior can be far more dangerous and can kill those that suffer with mental illness and Substance Abuse. I hope and pray you never experience any of this with your family members.


1 person likes this
Posted by George OrwellPMR
a resident of Danville
on Aug 9, 2019 at 8:50 am

Assuming the need, if not here, then where?
Good public transportation is essential,for outpatient treatment, and desirable for visitors. So you either site this near an existing hub, like Walnut Creek BART, or must arrange a link to one.
And, better to anticipate the likely difficulties, of such a facility, and work out how to mitigate them, than bury your head in the sand. For example, walls or fenc ing to limit access points and cameras to monitor usage.
It is all too much asylum to understand those with NIMBY attitudes but, really, if not here, then where?


2 people like this
Posted by Mark Redhorse
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Aug 9, 2019 at 12:46 pm

Last time I checked George, you weren't running a drug and alchohol rehab at your house. I'll also bet there isn't one on your block and also I'll bet you've never had one on you're block. What you (and others posting here supporting this) don't understand is this type of facility can be a nuisance in "neighborhoods" rather than commercial zones. I have dealt with a facility like this in my old neighborhood and it got so bad people sold their homes and moved because once established they are very difficult to remove. Why should a residence be turned into a facility with fences and cameras in a place that's supposed to be safe? How many people would want to buy a home in a neighborhood where a rehab is located. This is a bad idea period


2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 10, 2019 at 9:09 am

"We all have mental health issues." Speak for yourself. Nice spin, but I'm not buying it. It's absurd.


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