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Senior Living Facility on Sierra Bonita Still Breathing

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Raya's Paradise Inc., an operator of assisted-living homes for the elderly, hasn't given up on its goal of building an 11-bed facility on Sierra Bonita Avenue near Fairfax, reports the Melrose Village Blog. The development would convert a 1920s duplex into a 4,636 square foot, two-story, 25 foot high residential care facility, but the project would require a zoning variance that has already been rejected twice. At tomorrow's hearing of the LA City Council's Planning and Land Use Management committee, Raya's Paradise will appeal the earlier decisions, and has also filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, citing discrimination by the city. Current zoning of the area would allow Raya Paradise to build two separate facilities, each with six beds. Moti Gamburd, executive director of Raya's Paradise, told the LA Times that the double facility would save money in staff and amenities--savings that would be passed onto residents in the form of lower rents. The city, however, has decided that the development would come at too great an impact to the character of the neighborhood. In October, Associate Zoning Administrator Lourdes Green wrote that the project would set a precedent that "would incrementally begin to erode the low-density character and appearance of the area."

The LAT followed up its initial news story about the project with an editorial over the weekend that focuses on the need for senior housing while also fessing up to the LAT's opinion of NIMBYs of all stripes: "This page is generally not sympathetic to NIMBY arguments, and it is particularly troubling that people would disdain living near elderly people in group homes." The common thread between both pieces, however, is that Southern California has yet to resolve the housing issues raised by the quickly growing population of patients with Alzheimer's: "An estimated 155,575 Los Angeles County residents had Alzheimer's in 2008, a figure that is expected to nearly double by 2030 and triple by 2050."
· Proposed Facility on Sierra Bonita Draws Controversy [Melrose Village Blog]
· Near Melrose, a national healthcare predicament plays out [LA Times]
· Old folks have to live somewhere [LA Times]
· No "Mega-Senior Living for Sierra Bonita [Curbed LA]