CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Following a nearly six-hour public hearing, the Chula Vista City council voted to reject a proposed psychiatric hospital in Eastlake.
The city's planning commission had approved plans for the 120-bed facility last year. Tuesday night's vote was in response to an appeal of the planning commission's decision, filed by a local resident.
Council members Steve Padilla, Jill Galvez and John McCann voted to deny the project, while councilmember Andrea Cardenas and Mayor Mary Casillas Salas had backed the project on the eastern edge of the Eastlake Business Park.
Residents in the area near the project had launched a fierce battle against the placement of this psychiatric hospital in their community.
Proponents of the psychiatric facility - a joint project of Scripps Health and Acadia Healthcare - said it is much needed at this time in South County San Diego. The 120-bed facility would be located in the Eastlake area between an industrial park and a residential neighborhood.
Supporters also said San Diego County needs to have approximately 1,650 psychiatric beds but has less than half of that now.
The facility would reportedly generate 150 permanent jobs.
Opponents said they are not against the facility but against its placement near a residential neighborhood. Concerns were also voiced about Acadia Healthcare - a for-profit organization - and negative headlines it has garnered in recent years for alleged abuse and Medicare fraud.
Other concerns brought up at Tuesday's meeting included increased homeless in the area and strain on law enforcement.
Scripps and Acadia say the facility would have an eight-foot wall surrounding it and 24/7 security.
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