Neighbors in Chula Vista have rallied to sign a petition to stop plans for building a psychiatric hospital in their neighborhood.
Arcadia Healthcare, along with Scripps Health, and the city of Chula Vista are bringing an inpatient psychiatric hospital in a residential neighborhood in Eastlake.
“That’s going to be literally right next to our neighborhood, our block,” said Rebekah Edwards, a Chula Vista resident.
Edwards and her neighbors live on the other side of the future site of the hospital. It will be located on the cul-de-sac at the end of Showroom Place in what used to be called, The Eastlake Design District. The behavioral health facility will have approximately 120-beds.
This project is of neighbors' concern because the psychiatric hospital will be built on the same street as a local park, and family-friendly buinsesses like, Kid Ventures, and Floaties Swim School.
“They’re going to be right here, which is very concerning when you have kids who play in this park and we have birthday parties right here,” said Edwards.
Rebekah doesn’t think the City of Chula Vista has thought this through, she said this location isn’t near mass transit or a hospital.
“We want it moved into an area where there is a little bit more accessible for the patient, for bus transportation if they need it, for hospitals,” said Edwards.
A Scripps spokesperson told NBC 7 they would ensure the new facility meets both the patients’ needs and those of the community.
“I was very concerned,” said Bibi Luko, a Chula Vista resident.
She thought that was not good enough saying Scripps’ partner, Acadia, has widely-published problems in its other facilities.
"I think mental health services are definitely needed and I think that they should be accessible to everybody in a location to do that. This is not that location," said Luko.
If the project moves forward it is set to open in 2023.
"We know that there are needs for psychiatric facilities. We understand that,” said Edwards. “Just not here, not this close to home. I’m a mom, I’ve got two children here."
NBC 7 reached out to Acadia for a statement and they replied saying:
"Acadia’s mission is to improve the lives of our patients through successful treatment and recovery. Our health care professionals are committed to providing quality care to the approximately 14,000 patients in our facilities and the approximately 58,000 patients who are treated at our comprehensive treatment centers daily. To expand our commitment to providing quality behavioral health services, Acadia has entered into a partnership with Scripps to build a new facility in Chula Vista, CA, which we announced in February. The new facility will provide safe, quality care for patients who are greatly underserved. Acadia and Scripps will be working to help ensure that the new facility meets patients' needs as well as the needs of the community."
An online petition to stop the project has gathered over 400 signatures. And has doubled since NBC 7 aired the story at 6 p.m.