Local and Community News
California: New Proposal for Palm Springs AIDS Center Takes Shape
June 20, 2003
Still smarting from the defeat of the Vista Sunrise development at the hands of a vocal coalition of homeowners, members of the medical community in Palm Springs are proceeding cautiously with a new plan to build a primary care center and housing for HIV/AIDS patients on land near the Desert AIDS Project. But gone are the name Vista Sunrise and the original project's most contentious components: a homeless daycare center and office space for nonprofit organizations. The new approach also calls for including neighbors in the planning process.Adapted from:
In March, the City Council voted down the Vista Sunrise plan amid outcry from residents. Opponents said the Vista Sunrise project, which called for a center to feed the homeless and general special needs housing for recovering addicts or domestic violence survivors, would have made their neighborhood dangerous and hurt property values. "Overall," said Ed Dietrich, president of the Sagewood homeowners association, "it was too large a project for the neighborhood." The new plan, however, appears to have the blessing of the neighbors, who met planners last week to discuss details of the project.
The new proposal -- named the Desert AIDS Project Health and Housing Campus, or the DAP Housing Project -- is a joint venture of the city, Riverside County, DAP and the Desert Healthcare District. The project would take three parcels of land owned separately by the district, the city and DAP and transform them into a medical campus to serve the community's health care needs. For DAP, there would be 85 homes for HIV/AIDS patients. The agency already places patients in housing in Cathedral City, but there is not enough space. "Of all the programs at Desert AIDS Project, the only one with a waiting list is housing," said Executive Director John Brown.
The plans for the development will come before the city planning commission June 25 and then the City Council in July.
Desert Sun (Palm Springs, Calif.)
06.17.03; Brian Joseph