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Neighbors resist proposed assisted-living facility

May 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
They are fathers, mothers, grandparents and even great-grandparents, and they need 24-hour care. But people living in a Hollywood neighborhood just off trendy Melrose Avenue say they already have too many elderly-care facilities. And now they're fighting back.

Rose Katz turned 92 years old Monday. The kitchen table is filled with the desserts she will share with the other residents and staff. She lives in a home for people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia in West Hollywood.

It is a care home run by the same people who were turned down by the city of Los Angeles. They were denied a permit to build on Sierra Bonita Avenue. The builders, Raya's Paradise, are appealing the denial.

"They need special care that they can't get on their own and that's what's being provided here," said Robert Cherno, a land-use consultant. "It's a homelike setting rather than an institution, and it's the ideal setting according to several studies that have been done."

The West Hollywood home has been there 20 years and houses 30 elderly people.

Sarah Rinde would be a neighbor of the proposed new home in Los Angeles. Her concern is a new facility would alter the character of the neighborhood. The builder, Raya's Paradise, would construct a new facility. But they say it would maintain the local architecture.

"I know that they need help too, it's just, I love architecture. I see both sides," said Rinde.

It is not easy finding affordable residential care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. The city of Los Angeles has never before had an appeal such as the one filed because of the denial.

Attempts to reach L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes for comment on the denial have been unsuccessful.

The appeal goes before the city council in two weeks. As the population grows older the question of where they are going to live becomes more critical.


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