Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND COUNCILMEMBERS

FROM: CITY MANAGER

DATE: AUGUST 19, 2003

SUBJECT: SAGE HOUSE AND THE SALVATION ARMY

RECOMMENDATION:

Approve sending a letter of support for Sage House and the Salvation Army and request that the Board of Supervisors give the CUP for the new home of the Sage House every consideration.

BACKGROUND:

The following information is provided by Mr. Dave Bond, a long time resident of RPV who serves as Chairman of the Salvation Army "Sage House" adult day care program in San Pedro.

The Salvation Army Sage House, the only licensed adult daycare in San Pedro, is in danger of closing, due to opposition from a few neighbors of its long-awaited new home.

The Salvation Army started Sage House, a licensed adult daycare center, in 1996 to serve the needs of older adults who daily suffer from Alzheimer's or other dementia, depression, loneliness, Parkinson's or other disabilities. Already, Sage House has provided a loving assist for hundreds of elders and families. The goal at Sage House is to help increase elders' self-esteem and dignity, relieve loneliness and boredom, reduce depression, provide socialization and companionship, and enhance their quality of life. The Salvation Army Sage House offers adult day care goers arts and crafts, memory games, yoga, drama, music, field trips, therapeutic exercise, nutritious lunches and snacks, and intergenerational activities. The service also benefits the families who need some relief from their burden of care.

For more than 100 years, The Salvation Army has been providing church services, family services and youth activities to San Pedro residents. In Fall 2001, The Salvation Army built a new community Center for Worship and Service at 138 South Bandini to better serve the 15,000 men, women and children in San Pedro who rely on The Salvation Army each year. The building is complete and operating.

The Salvation Army then sought the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning in order to move Sage House from their rented basement location at First United Methodist Church to the new Center as its permanent home.

However, a small group of residents used the CUP hearing process to seek restrictions on other Salvation Army activities at the Center, most of which had nothing to do with the Sage House program. Even though burdensome, The Salvation Army agreed to accept 38 conditions as an expression of its desire to avoid any problems and to be good neighbors.

Now, even though 38 conditions have been agreed to, the opposition group is not satisfied and has appealed the matter to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. They want further restrictions imposed on the use of the Center. The Supervisors will hear this appeal on September 23, 2003. The future of Sage House depends on their decision.

"The Salvation Army is unwilling to compromise its commitment to the community and those in need. We will continue to be good neighbors and stand firm in our commitment to serve the community of San Pedro for many years to come," says Lt. Colonel Alfred Van Cleef, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Southern California Division. "If any of these further restrictions are imposed, we will need to abandon the Sage House CUP in order to maintain the level of service the men, women and children in San Pedro have come to expect from The Salvation Army. We cannot accept further restrictions, which would greatly change our ability to serve the San Pedro community. Further, the double cost of the vacant center space and a separate Sage House will likely mean that we must close Sage House"

DISCUSSION:

Mr. Bond has requested that Councilmember Gardiner ask the City Council for help in the Sage House matter. The Supervisors will hear the appeal of the CUP for the new home for Sage House on September 23, 2003. Mr. Bond asks that the City Council write a brief letter on City letterhead to each of the Los Angeles County Supervisors stating the Councilís support of Sage House and the Salvation Army and request that they deny the appeal. Staff has prepared a draft letter of support for the Salvation Army and Sage house with a request that the Board of Supervisors give the Sage House project "every consideration."

Respectfully submitted,
Les Evans for Councilmember Gardiner
City Manager

Attachment: Proposed Letter

DRAFT LETTER

August 19, 2003

RE: Conditional Use Permit No. 02-131-(4)

(Sage House Adult Day Care Center of The Salvation Army)

Dear

The City of Rancho Palos Verdes has long been a "neighbor" of the Salvation Army and respects both their staff and their programs. Recently the City awarded a financial grant to the "Sage House" adult day care program in San Pedro. This program serves many frail elderly who live on the hill.

We have been advised that the Board of Supervisors will soon hear an appeal of a Conditional Use Permit that would allow the Sage House to move to a new home. Although we are not informed of the facts of this case and do not feel comfortable asking the Board to deny the appeal, we would like to emphasize our support of the work of Sage House and the Salvation Army and ask the Board of Supervisors to give this project every consideration.

Sincerely,
Douglas W. Stern
Mayor