Questions and Answers
We group the questions and answers under the major headings of
Money, Skilled Nursing Facility (Building C'), Building D and
Quality of Life.
Won't rents have to increase with
the Alternative Plan?
Market competition will not allow
rents to exceed competitive neighboring Continuing Care Retirement
Communities (CCRCs). Monthly fees will always rise consistent with
the cost of living increases.
Isn't it the case that costs of
the Independent Living construction of both plans are basically
the same, but it is the $35 million extra for proposed SNF that
is the major difference between PRS and Residents Alternative
Plan and is the reason residents should be rejecting the
Independent Living construction costs
are NOT the same between the two plans. We estimate
that the Alternative plan Independent Living solution is $29
million cheaper, due to the use of a single residential structure
which already has the major utilities on the site as opposed to 3
apartment buildings, each with their own garages and no utilities
on site. The Skilled Nursing Facility’s $35 million constructions
cost is included in our total cost (Bld. C’ + D) and is not
an additional cost. Both Plans come out about the same total cost.
Wouldn't the move of skilled
nursing to a new building require the demolition of the existing
nursing center which would cost at least $750,000 or more?
We have included this cost in our
Isn't it the case that no new
monthly fee revenue would be generated at least 7 years with the
Both plans would reach the point of
full revenue generation from 52 apartments at about the same time
(the three IL buildings of the PRS plan are likely to be be
phased). We have taken the delayed revenue in the Alternative Plan
into account by including a cost of money on the full value of the
Skilled Nursing Facility for two years. The total costs for both
plans are essentially the same.
Why is there a need to spend $35
million on a new Skilled Nursing Facility when PRS can remodel
the existing Health Care Center over a period of years for $7
We stated that the overall cost for
the two plans runs about the same, $89 million. Our Skilled
Nursing Facility (Building C’) costs $30 - $35 million according
to PRS and we don’t disagree , although we get there very
differently from the way they do.
The real saving in the Alternative Plan comes from the cost of the
Independent Living apartment building(s). We estimate PRS costs
for their 3 Independent Living buildings runs about $29 million
more than the costs for our one Independent Living building
(Building D). Add to that our estimated cost of the existing
Health Care Center renovations of 52 rooms (PRS’s number) of over
$7 million and it becomes clear that the cost of the new SNF is
completely offset. The result is PRS saves nothing in overall $
with their “tear up the campus and band aid the HCC” approach.
Skilled Nursing Facility (Building C')
How would you organize the
interior of Building C'?
We stated we hadn’t designed the
interior of Building C’ but there are a variety of ways to do it.
Our outline plan for Building C’, with units at 350 sq ft each,
places 16 units for short term patients (usually rehab out of
hospitals) on the top floor and 24 units for long term (residents
who first lived in SRC Independent Living, public and Medicaid) on
the ground floor.
The full kitchen, 1500 sq ft, is on the ground floor. Each floor
has its own patient dining room, approximately 1000 to 2000 sq ft.
Food service to the top floor is provided by an installed dumb
Therapy areas are on both floors and in the east end basement
floor. The therapy on the basement floor has outside access to
provide for out-patient care.
Each floor has its own nurse’s station, medicine room and soiled
We include two elevators, plus stairs. Offices, conference room,
etc are on either or both floors as well as the east end basement.
We calculate use of about 16,000 sq ft on the ground floor, about
13,000 sq ft on the top floor and 6400 sq ft in the basement. This
plan is consistent with our C’ sq ft per floor and we still have
flexibility in size and choice of spaces.
Wouldn't taking patients in
wheelchairs up/down an elevator three times a day for meals be
Each floor has its own patient dining
room and therapy room. There is no need to move
patients from floor to floor. In addition, most long term patients
have meals in their own rooms.
Wouldn't providing skilled
nursing on two stories be total inefficiency in staffing, as it
would require two nurse’s stations?
We have two nurses stations in the
current HCC as needed for response times. We believe nurse
(Registered Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant and/or Licensed
Vocational Nurse) response times are better served by maintaining
nursing stations on each floor.
Wouldn't two dining rooms
require extra staff that are hard to find and expensive?
Our proposal integrates a full
service kitchen within the Skilled Nusing Facility. This
eliminates the delivery of meals from the Assisted Living kitchen.
As well as providing freshly cooked, hot meals to the patients,
this eliminates the need for meal delivery staff. The four or five
wait staff required for 40 patients can readily be allocated
between the two dining rooms as needed.
Wouldn't a two-story skilled
nursing limit resident access to outdoor space?
Access to outdoor space is available
to patients on both floors. Private outdoor space is provided in
the same way as for the PRS Building C proposal. Every room has
either a private patio on the ground floor where the grade
permits, or a private balcony. Care will be taken with guard rails
etc to ensure patient safety.
Wouldn't emergency exiting through only the west side of the SNF
building be insufficient?
Ground level emergency access/egress
is through the Main Entrance at the west end with a covered drive
up area and ambulance turning circle on Colfax Lane. Additional
ground level access/egress is provided through the North Entrance
on Odd Fellows Drive and the South Entrance. Basement level
access/egress is provided through the Day Use Entrance near
McLaren Lane and the Level 1 Parking Entrance on Odd Fellows
Use of two elevators for evacuating the 16 patients on the top
floor will be relatively easy as many short term rehabilitation
patients are mobile and they can also exit at ground level via the
Putting a 40,000 sq ft building
into a 15,000 sq ft footprint leads to complications. Are you
aware of any Health Care Centers that are multiple stories, and,
if so, what is their experience?
An excellent example is the the San
Francisco Health Care and Rehab (http://sfhcr.com
), 1477 Grove St.
San Francisco. This facility was ranked as #5 Best Nursing Home in
California and #1 in San Francisco by Newsweek based on the
Statista data. Normally they have 168 beds, but fewer now because
of Covid. They have 2 separate floors for patients on the 2nd and
3rd floors. Physical Therapy and recreation is on first
floor, with further Physical Therapy on 2nd floor. There is no
dining facility as they bring food to patients in their rooms.
There are nurses station on each floor, staffed by CNAs,
registered RNs and LVNs. There are 3 elevators and a staircase.
During an emergency they use an intercom to evacuate patients
Isn't approval for a four story
building difficult to obtain?
Describing this building as four story
is misleading. The building is treated by the City for approval
purposes as two story plus basement plus underground garage
(exactly the same as the PRS proposal for their Building C). As
such it is identical to the existing 5,000 building and would not
violate the City's two story height limitation, which is likely to
be relaxed in any case.
Doesn't OSHPD approval take much
longer to approve than the Alternative Plan allows?
The time issue really comes down to
design and permitting of the Skilled Nursing Facility. Our
understanding of the the PRS claim is it will take 3 years (design
and OSHPD permit done in series) where we believe with modern
approach to OSHPD it will take 18 months (design and OSHPD
permit). We have based our timeline on input from contractors who
are active in the business and built OSHPD facilities in
California. Our understanding of the PRS timeline is 1 year
design, 2 years for OSHPD permit and 2 years for construction,
giving 5 years total to get a new SNF. Our plan uses 18 months for
design and OSHPD permit and 30 months construction, but adds the 1
year for City approval, also giving 5 years total.
Shouldn't Building D be 3 stories
to allow for a number of 2,000 sq.ft. luxury units (note,
the City does not permit 3 stories normally)?
52 adequate size apartments are
possible in the planned 2 floors plus basement Building D, similar
to the approach taken in the existing 5000 building.
Wouldn't residents need to walk-up
the Colfax hill to get to the elevator in Manor in order to
Many Cul-de-Sac residents today walk
up their hill without problem, and for those residents who use
walkers, the SRC van provides a shuttle service. The van service
can be extended to Building D residents.
Doesn't there need to be more
parking to accommodate 3rd party “outsiders” (non-residents) to
use the Auditorium (note, this provides SRC some revenue)?
The Alternative Plan does not remove
the existing surface parking for visitors and adds spaces in the
garage under the auditorium. In total, the Alternative Plan adds
more parking spaces to the campus than the PRS plan.
Quality of Life Issues
PRS repeated their offer to delay
building on the Historic Park for up to 7 years to appeal to
residents currently living at SRC. Future residents by that time
would have all been warned that PRS will be constructing a
campus-wide expansion project. Wouldn't they know what
they’re getting into and so cannot complain about the project in
We have already heard from new
residents that even though Marketing had advised them of the
project, it did not really have an impact on them until they moved
in and could see realistically what an enormously negative effect
the in-fill of structures, sprawled throughout the campus, would
have in a real-world scenario. You need to see it to believe it
and showing it to the new residents on a map simply does not
present a realistic portrayal
I’m already concerned about
reaching Fruitvale Avenue in the case of a fire, but what
happens when more buildings, residents, staff, cars, and
emergency personnel and their equipment are added? Even the
second entrance I keep hearing about sounds vague and an
evacuation plan and infrastructure not seriously thought out.
Efficient and safe emergency
evacuation is critical for all residents.
Yes, it does seem that there will be a second exit onto Chester
Road. In addition, if either the PRS proposal or the Residents’
Alternative goes ahead, then the Fire Department is insisting on a
third emergency vehicle only access, also from Chester Road. Our
proposed site for the new Skilled Nursing facility is immediately
opposite these two exits, thus simplifying emergency evacuation of
our most vulnerable residents. This is a plus for our plan.
The PRS proposal increases the number of residents who would have
to use West Cottages Lane to exit onto either Fruitvale Avenue or
Wouldn't the demolition of the
existing nursing center require countless dump truck trips to
and from the site?
Both proposals require a significant
number of dump truck runs to carry away the dirt that has to be
excavated for the underground garages. However, we estimate that
the PRS proposal requires nearly double the number of dump
truck runs than is required by the Alternative Plan. Even adding
on an estimate for carrying away the demolished Health Care
Center, the total disruption to the campus will be significantly
less with the Alternate Plan. In addition, the disruption under
the Alternate Plan will be at the eastern edge of the campus, not
in the center of the campus.
Is the statement by PRS that the
Alternative Plan will not be considered by the City correct?
Cynthia Richardson, Saratoga City
Consultant Planner, told us "The Residents’ Alternative plan has
been forwarded to the EIR consultant for consideration in the
alternative's analysis of the project EIR."
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residents in the Saratoga Retirement Community
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