Joseph Hirsch

Nov 042013

PAHC has proposed senior housing on the Maybell site.  Is it good housing? I don’t think so!

The PAHC proposed building has virtually no senior-serving amenities, certainly no dining room where residents could congregate and enjoy a meal together, after all, they could be living there for a very long time.  Thus, residents will have to go off-site for everything they need. Everything!

PAHC proposes to have a limited number of parking spaces on the belief that “seniors don’t drive”. (All the seniors I know, and I’m a senior, drive.)  If, however, they really don’t drive, how will they do all the things that can’t be done on site?

City Council has required that a van service be coordinated with the residents of the adjacent Arastradero Park complex.  There is no van service now for the people in that complex and apparently they have lived quite well without one for quite some time.  Why do they have to be brought into this matter now?

Nonetheless, the proposed van service is intended to be coordinated for 68 apartments in the adjacent complex and 60 senior apartments, 128 in all. How many vans will be required? How many drivers will be required?  How often will service be provided? What happens if a senior really doesn’t drive and the van has just left?  What happens when the senior is dropped off someplace (e.g., a medical appointment) and wants to be picked up on his or her return?  How long a wait will be required?

This is getting pretty complex and has the potential to be pretty expensive. Will the low/very-low income seniors be obligated to pay for that? Or will we, the taxpayers, have to pay for that year after year after year?

In summary, there are few senior-serving amenities nearby and public transportation is sporadic at best. The location is not the best for seniors, the building itself is bare minimum housing with few amenities, and  little is being provided to help seniors get to where they need to go and back in a timely manner.  We owe our seniors more. Much more. This is one reason why I am voting Against Measure D.

Then, if D is defeated and PAHC is willing (the onus will be on PAHC to decide if they want to meet), maybe a better overall site plan can be devised in conjunction with the Barron Park/Green Acres neighbors that (a) has better senior housing (true housing, not just apartments) and (b) is consistent with the single-family character of our neighborhood.