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Myth vs Fact

With Beach Cities Health District’s Healthy Living Campus in the Conditional Use phase, we’re here to help separate myths from the facts.

FICTION/CLAIM

FACT

The Healthy Living Campus project will be “a privately owned residential facility for the elderly.”  FACT. False. The plan is a public-private partnership (P3) – a finance model that utilizes private investments in public projects to bolster taxpayers’ return on investment. The result: Taxpayers pay less for the programs and services they are receiving, while also benefitting from the improvement on the community asset. In this case, the project would include a youth wellness center focused on mental health, facilities for dozens of vital community health programs, more than two acres of green space, and senior living facilities.
BCHD spends 50% of property taxes on executive pay ($2M+ annual).

FACT: Regarding salaries, this claim distorts BCHD’s budget numbers and misrepresents the impact of employee salaries to the total budget.

In FY 21-22, BCHD received $4.3 million in property taxes and spent $8.5 million, (61% of its $13.9 million budget) on programs, services and grants. Administrative costs, including salaries, made up 18% of BCHD’s expenses.

BCHD policy calls for a compensation program that is competitive, legally compliant, and equitable. A consultant reviews the compensation structure and ensures alignment with the organization structure, job content, market trends, and other developments. Most BCHD salaries are currently at or below the market for comparable positions.

BCHD does not have the authority to create an assisted living facility. The building must remain a hospital. FALSE. False. As outlined in Section 32121(j) of the California Health and Safety Code, healthcare districts are empowered under state law to establish, maintain and operate healthcare facilities, including retirement programs, services and facilities. Additionally, all elements of the Healthy Living Campus will comply with local zoning regulations.
The proposed Healthy Living Campus is as big as the Crypto.Com Arena (nee Staples Center) in Los Angeles.

FACT. False. According to the Los Angeles Sports Council, the Crypto.com Area/Staples Center itself is 950,000 square feet, not including parking, and 150 feet high. The Healthy Living Campus – including the proposed parking structure – is estimated to be 792,520 square feet, according to Paul Murdoch Architects, with the tallest portion of the building being 83 feet. Using an “apples to apples” comparison (i.e., no parking), Crypto.Com Arena/Staples Center is double the size of the 473,020-square foot structure planned for the Healthy Living Campus.

Crypto.com building (without parking) 950,000 sq ft
HLC building (without parking) 473,020 sq ft

 

BCHD has ignored a petition from 1,200 surrounding residents

FACT. False. The organizers of the petition effort sent the petition to BCHD on June 8, 2021, two days before the end of the comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Report.

By the time the petition was sent to BCHD, the design of the project had changed due to input from the public and expert consultants, making many of the concerns listed in the petition irrelevant or out-of-date. BCHD responded to the petition in the same way as other DEIR comments, via the Final EIR.

Seventy percent (802) of the signatures are from outside the Beach Cities, including Torrance, Gardena, Rancho Palos Verdes, Lomita and others.

Beach Cities Health District, one of the leading preventive health agencies in the nation, is working with the community to reimagine our aging, former hospital site to better reflect our mission and meet the current health needs of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach residents. In pursuit of this vision, since May 2017 we’ve collected feedback from the community, consulted with experts and publicly vetted numerous designs and concepts for the 11-acre site with our board of directors.

This once-in-a-generation project is our community’s unique opportunity to chart the future of health in the Beach Cities by purposefully building a vibrant campus where people of all ages can engage in healthy behaviors, form meaningful connections and be well … for many years to come.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

About the Project

The proposed Healthy Living Campus project transforms our aging 11-acre medical campus in Redondo Beach into a modern intergenerational venue that will provide a blend of wellness, prevention and research for current and future generations.

In May 2017, BCHD began devising plans to update the campus, which stretches from Diamond Street to Beryl Street and Prospect Avenue to Flagler Lane. Since then, there have been four revisions based on input from more than 60 public meetings and more than 1,000 comments; from financial, seismic and architectural experts; and from public surveys, trade-off discussions and, ultimately, the Environmental Impact Report.  

In November 2021, the BCHD Board of Director approved the campus Master Plan, which includes:

  • A Youth Wellness Center for ages 12-25 to address mental health, substance use and life skills
  • More than two acres of active green space to replace asphalt
  • Residential Care for the Elderly (RCFE) units reduced from 420 to 217, including memory care
  • No planned RCFE units on the Torrance-facing side of the campus
  • Bike and pedestrian paths
  • A new energy-efficient, seismically compliant medical office building
  • Building heights limited to 83 feet and under (the tallest building on the current campus is 76 feet)
  • Minimized construction time dipping from nine to five years in two phases (instead of three)
  • Phase Two – Community Wellness Pavilion, aquatics and new Center for Health and Fitness

The intergenerational campus – with services ranging from a Youth Wellness Center (for ages 12 – 25) to residential care options for aging residents who want to remain in the Beach Cities – will create a funding source for preventive health programs and services for residents of all ages. Additionally, the Healthy Living Campus will feature a host of projects designed specifically to benefit the community at large, including:

  • Replacing acres of asphalt parking with active green/gathering space for community uses like fitness events, farmer’s markets and community workshops
  • Flexible presentation and community meeting spaces for conferences, workshops, trainings, events, Moais and support groups
  • Demonstration kitchens and gardens for cooking and nutrition classes
  • Phase two would include a new community exercise center (Center for Health & Fitness and aquatics center

Additional benefits include:

  • Creating up to 300 full-time staff jobs on the campus and more than 200 construction jobs

The bike path is a separate project from the Healthy Living Campus and has received Measure M funds. Learn more about the bike path at: https://www.bchd.org/healthpolicy.

In Southern California, earthquakes are a fact of life -- we must be prepared. Seismic experts determined the 60-year-old hospital building (514 N. Prospect Ave.) on our campus has seismic and structural issues common with structures built in the 1950s and '60s. While a seismic upgrade is not required by law at this time, the BCHD Governing Board opted to take a proactive approach to address these seismic issues in consideration of the building’s residents, employees and visitors.

The City of Redondo Beach’s current General Plan speaks to this seismic hazard, specifying the “non-ductile concrete frame building” and this type of “sensitive” use to be either “upgraded, relocated or phased out.” Information about seismic hazards is included in the Geology and Soils section of the Draft EIR, and seismic studies of the 514 building are located here (include hyperlink).

Based on Project Pillars developed by the BCHD board of directors, six project objectives were established, including:

  • Eliminate seismic safety and other hazards of the former South Bay Hospital Building (514 N. Prospect Ave.)

While BCHD's focus is on residents of the Beach Cities, a number of BCHD services (e.g., Free Fitness events, the Center for Health & Fitness, last year's COVID-19 vaccinations and testing) are available to people from outside the three cities we serve.

Much like the South Bay Hospital served residents and those from other communities, BCHD’s campus will do the same. Public libraries, parks, universities and other taxpayer-supported facilities and services often serve both residents and non-residents alike. We believe residents will benefit from having these resources in close proximity to their homes and in the Beach Cities community.

From the Healthy Living Campus Environmental Impact Report (EIR): “The MDS Market Study identifies that a large majority (i.e., 70 percent) of the proposed Assisted Living program and Memory Care community would come from within five miles of campus.” That five-mile radius covers the entirety of the three Beach Cities. The study also estimates that around 39% of RCFE tenants will have ties to District residents, including 20-30% from current Health District residents and another 6%-9% from older parents of current Health District residents.

The estimated active construction timeline has been reduced from nine years to five years and from three phases to two phases. Phase one active construction time is approximately 29 months, with Phase two expected to take 28 months.

Taking a regional approach, BCHD was able to apply and receive a $2 million grant from the State, bringing needed professional mental health resources to our youth. Our young people are facing a mental health crisis – 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness start by age 14; 79% do not have access to care; and in the Beach Cities 18% of our Beach Cities 11th graders reported seriously considering attempting suicide within the past 12 months.

allcove Beach Cities operations will be funded through the state’s Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, in partnership with Stanford University’s Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing, to provide more access to mental health services for young people ages 12-25. It will be located in the heart of Redondo Beach, both in its temporary locations and in the future Healthy Living Campus.

A pricing schedule has not yet been determined, but will ultimately be consistent with prevailing market rates. The Board has discussed offering 10 percent of the RCFE units at below market rates.

BCHD retained MDS Market Research to conduct market studies evaluating the feasibility of a proposed assisted living and memory care community in Redondo Beach. Field work and analysis were originally completed in April 2016 and updated in August 2018 and May 2019.  

The May 2019 report states: “There is sufficient size and depth of the qualified target market (older adults needing help with Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs) to prudently introduce the proposed new assisted living units and memory care beds into the Redondo Beach area - from a quantitative perspective.” 

The MDS Report projects the number of Beach Cities residents 75 years and older requiring assistance with ADLs (e.g., bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.) to be:

   2021: 9,911 (32.1% of the 75-plus population)

   2024: 10,458 (31.7%)

The MDS market studies are available at www.bchdcampus.org/campus, listed under “Project Materials.” 

Additionally, a Public Policy Institute of California report found that more than one million seniors statewide will require some assistance with self care. 

A Bureau of Labor Statistics report states the need for long-term support and services will increase 41% over the next decade.

The decades-long BCHD model will continue to provide free programs and services to Beach Cities residents through public/private partnerships. Therefore, any potential revenue generated by the Healthy Living Campus will be reinvested in the community through services like school health programs, senior care, health grants and more. 

Using this model, in FY 2020-2021 Beach Cities residents received a $3.01-to-$1 return on their property tax investment in BCHD.

BCHD has a history of partnering and/or facilitating leases for health services, like Sunrise Assisted Living, Silverado Memory Care, Beach Cities Surgery Center, UCLA Health and South Bay Family Health Care -- a federally qualified health center. 

For example, BCHD recently facilitated a loan of up to $600,000 to upgrade South Bay Family Health Care on Artesia Blvd., which improved the quality of health care for lower income adults in the Beach Cities. 

Questions and general feedback about the Project can be emailed to HLCinfo@bchd.org or submitted directly to BCHD staff using our online comment card. Community outreach contact: Dan Smith, BCHD communications manager, at (310) 374-3426, ext. 8156.

Property taxes comprised 25% of BCHD’s annual revenue for FY 2018-19, according to the District’s audited financial report. BCHD's budget also includes: revenues from leases (32%), Health & Fitness operations (18%), limited partnerships (13%), interest and other revenue (12%). 

(Note: BCHD's 2018-19 audited financial report received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. & Canada and an Operating Budget Award for Excellence from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers.)

As part of District policy, BCHD provides a compensation program that is competitive, legally compliant, and equitable. The pay structures conform with California minimum wage standards and the pay grade assignments maintain internal equity for hourly, non-exempt, exempt, and management jobs. 

BCHD's communications budget, which includes salaries, print publications, mailers to residents, flyers for programs and services, advertising, health promotion, website and more, made up five percent of BCHD’s overall budget.

Fact: In May 2017, BCHD began working closely with the community to reimagine our medical campus. This process led to four different plans, an in-depth Environmental Impact Report and the project being approved in November 2021 with a 5-0 vote by the BCHD Board of Directors.

Next steps include the selection of an operator for the Residential Care for the Elderly facility and awarding a design-build construction contract.

Fact: The overall square footage of the campus buildings has decreased nearly 11% from the 2019 Draft Master Plan. Additionally, the footprint of the project has shifted closer to the Vons shopping center to address concerns expressed by nearby neighbors.

Fact: The tentative start for Healthy Living Campus construction will be in 2023.

Fact: BCHD has served the health of our community for more than 60 years, with the past two decades focused on preventive wellness. Because 70% of all chronic diseases are preventable, the modern Healthy Living Campus will be fully dedicated to wellness, research and prevention.

  • BCHD preventive health programs and services have earned visits from the U.S. Surgeon General and L.A. County Department of Public Health and garnered universal acclaim.
  • A report by the Little Hoover Commission, California’s Independent State Oversight Agency, cited BCHD as a “model for transitioning California’s (79) healthcare districts to preventive care.”

Fact: BCHD’s budgetary practices are available to the public online and the budget is reviewed by its resident advisory Finance Committee and discussed at public Board meetings. An annual report with an overview is also mailed to Beach Cities households each year. Budgets are submitted annually to the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers for review. BCHD continues to be the only California health district (to meet these standards of excellence and has received 17 CSMFO Excellence or Meritorious Awards since the 2007-2008 fiscal year. BCHD is also the recipient of a Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the Special District Leadership Foundation.

The 1,178-page Environmental Impact Report (certified in September 2021)  assesses and analyzes any impacts associated with the proposed Healthy Living Campus upgrade as well as mitigations to reduce them. A brief overview of the findings can be found here: (need link)

BCHD has also conducted more than 60 community meetings and received more than 1,000 comments from residents regarding the campus, which has resulted in a variety of modifications, including decreasing building heights, moving construction away from the eastern/Torrance-facing border, shortening construction time and adding active green space to the overall plan.

BCHD staff conferred with Redondo Beach planning staff multiple times to guide the project’s conceptual planning efforts.

The following information is from BCHD's CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) attorney:

"In the course of planning a redevelopment project, it is natural and beneficial to all parties for the project proponent to confer with the local agencies that will be asked to review and approve the project. It is also natural and beneficial to both parties for a Lead Agency under CEQA to confer with a Responsible Agency about the respective roles of the two agencies. CEQA anticipates, encourages, and requires early consultation among agencies – lead agencies (like BCHD), responsible agencies, trustee agencies, Native American tribes – both formal and informal consultation. These provisions are found in Public Resources Code sections 21080.3, 21080.3.1, 21080.3.2, and 21080.4, and in CEQA Guidelines sections 15060.5, 15082, 15083, and 15086. 

See PRC 21080.3(a), (“Prior to determining whether a negative declaration or environmental impact report is required for a project, the lead agency shall consult with all responsible and trustee agencies.  Prior to that required consultation, the lead agency may informally contact any of those agencies.”)  

Consultation with the City of Redondo Beach at the initial stages of the planning process for the Healthy Living Campus Redevelopment Project is prudent and essential to ensure that the CEQA process, the resulting EIR, and the application materials prepared for City review, all meet the City’s needs as Responsible Agency and reviewing body." 

Wood PLC is an experienced, global leader in the delivery of project management, engineering, consulting and environmental (CEQA) services to a variety of clients across the globe. Wood operates in more than 60 countries, employing around 55,000 people and was selected by a committee of BCHD staff and CWG members. 

Residential Care for the Elderly

Yes. As outlined in Section 32121(j) of the California Health and Safety Code, healthcare districts are empowered under state law to establish, maintain and operate healthcare facilities, including retirement programs, services and facilities. Additionally, all elements of the Healthy Living Campus will comply with local zoning regulations.

On the Healthy Living Campus, RCFE will consist of memory care and assisted living units.

Memory care currently exists on the BCHD campus, with Silverado operating 60 units (120 beds) of specialized care for people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Assisted Living, designed to be “home-like” with private or semi-private apartment-style rooms, provides a continuum of long-term care services, including housing, personal care services and health care for individuals who need assistance with normal daily activities (bathing, meals, etc.). Assisted living residents often receive help with meal preparation, laundry and medication management, and, in general, the care provided is at a lower acuity and residents have a higher level of independence than the patients in skilled nursing facilities.

Yes, and a critical need considering 61 million Baby Boomers (born from 1946 – 1964) will be at least 66 years old by 2030. According to the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs, one of the most important public health discoveries in recent years is the degree to which one’s physical environment (home) influences health status and premature mortality. This is especially true for the more vulnerable senior population.

As has been the BCHD model for decades, any potential revenue generated will be reinvested in the Beach Cities through community health programs and services like school gardens, senior care management, health grants, anti-obesity programming and substance-use prevention in schools. Currently, BCHD provides $3.50 in programs and services for every tax dollar received. In addition to administering more than 40 critical health programs in the Beach Cities, here are a few examples of the outside programs and services BCHD also helps fund through this financial model:

  • Healthy Schools Service Agreements with HBCSD, MBUSD and RBUSD to fund counseling, nurses/health aides, substance use prevention, physical education and MindUP
  • Senior Health Fund
  • Manhattan and Redondo Beach Paramedic Services
  • Manhattan Beach Community Counseling Center
  • St. Paul United Methodist Church
  • The Salvation Army Meals on Wheels
  • Manhattan Beach CERT
  • South Bay Children’s Health Center
  • Cancer Support Community
  • Redondo Beach Rotary Vision to Learn
  • 7 Micro Enrichment Grants

PACE

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps people meet their health care needs while aging gracefully in their home/community instead of moving into a nursing home or other care facility.

With PACE, a team of health care professionals works with patients and their families to assure properly coordinated care is provided. The healthcare teams typically work with a small number of older adults, so they really get to know their patients while providing medical care, medication management and adult health care services. For more information about PACE visit, https://bchdcampus.org/pace-and-rcfe

 

BCHD is partnering with Stanford University’s allcove centers, which are designed to destigmatize mental health issues for youth (ages 12 – 25) and provide a network of free/low-cost mental health centers, to produce a Youth Wellness Center on the Healthy Living Campus. The Center will offer mental and physical health resources, education, employment, peer and family support and substance use prevention programs.

Archive

  • BCHD has not requested a zone change for the proposed project. The main campus is zoned P-CF (Community Facility) and the vacant lot located on Flagler Lane is zoned C-2 (Commercial).
  • A conditional use permit (CUP) is already in place for the 514 Prospect Ave. building, addressing the 120 residents living at Silverado Memory Care. The proposed project - like other improvements made in the past - would require a CUP under existing code. Also, a CUP does not require a vote of the people.

As part of District policy, BCHD provides a compensation program that is competitive, legally compliant, and equitable. The pay structures conform with California minimum wage standards and the pay grade assignments maintain internal equity for hourly, non-exempt, exempt, and management jobs.

A compensation consultant reviews the compensation structure and ensures alignment with the organization structure, job content, market trends, and other developments.

For instance, the CEO salary range was established by considering similar job classifications and qualifications stands to assure that the job assigned to a pay grade that was competitive and aligned appropriately using the District's major internal job evaluation factors.

By certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the District’s Healthy Living Campus Master Plan, the BCHD Board of Directors verified the document complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The vote was taken Sept. 8, 2021 and the Board was 5-0 in favor of certification following two and a half hours of presentations, board deliberations and public comments. More than 300 public comments and responses were included in the 1,778-page Final EIR.

For more information visit bchdcampus.org/eir.

The Final EIR and its appendices are available at https://www.bchdcampus.org/eir. That page also has information about the various steps BCHD has taken as part of the EIR process.