Bakersfield City Council set to allow Casa Esperanza to open at Panorama Bluffs | News – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2021-09-14 18:59:00 –

The Bakersfield City Council is ready to turn a previously rejected provisional home for women and children into a green light after nearby residents have expressed concern about the project.

At a city council meeting on Wednesday, the council will officially acknowledge that the Casa Esperanza Transitional Home for women and children can be run in a Panorama Drive home that was previously home to large foster parents.

The project has been the subject of legal controversy because local authorities believed it was necessary to open a home after the city council first denied a conditional permit. After the council rejected the permit application in January, the California Housing Community Development Authority notified the city that it did not require a permit to operate Casa Esperanza.

According to the state, Bakersfield planners inappropriately classified Casa Esperanza as a rooming house, although it should have been classified as a temporary housing. A rooming house requires a conditional permit to open in the zone designated for a single-family home, but a transitional home does not.

Initially, the city appeared ready to fight the interpretation of state law. However, Bakersfield’s stance seems to have eased in the months that followed.

“The state’s direction is very clear that state law allows the project to be advanced for residential use in the proposed locations,” said city spokesman Joe Conroy, a Californian. I wrote in an email.

However, subtle legal distinctions are of little comfort to residents of Panorama Bluffs, who continue to worry about the potential impact of Casa Esperanza on their neighbors.

“This sounds like a great idea on an elevator pitch, so it’s being pushed forward, but there are still a lot of unresolved concerns and issues,” said owning a house behind the proposed Casa Esperanza location. Kristen Urkides said.

Urquidez and colleagues are worried about the possibility of more than 20 people living in a 7-bedroom home and that the new nonprofit will be able to carry out the project without problems.

This house serves as a starting point for single women to restructure their lives. Participants must attend counseling sessions and strive to achieve stable work and permanent housing while at home.

The city has drafted Casa Esperanza’s Good Neighbor Policy, which seeks to address potential issues. The policy bans smoking, e-cigarettes and illegal drugs from the premises and enacts a curfew at 10 pm on weekdays.

Still, even if Casa Esperanza is fully functional, Urquidez said that other homes that open in similar situations may not have as much capacity.

“I’m worried that similar projects will start to set a precedent for them to start appearing in the city,” she said. “The priority is that there are no oversights or application processes to ensure that things are realistic and well-meaning.”

You can reach Sam Morgen at 661-395-7415. You can also follow him on Twitter @ smorgenTBC.

Bakersfield City Council set to allow Casa Esperanza to open at Panorama Bluffs | News Source link Bakersfield City Council set to allow Casa Esperanza to open at Panorama Bluffs | News

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