By Mary O’KEEFE
The be.group has confirmed that a tentative agreement has been reached with the National Charity League of Glendale regarding the Twelve Oaks property.
“I can confirm that a tentative settlement has been reached pending board agreement, both theirs (NCL) and ours (be.group),” said Dan Hutson, vice president of communications and marketing.
Hutson was not certain when either of those board meetings would take place.
“Our board meeting has not been scheduled yet but it is in the works,” he added.
In the meantime, be.group continues to oversee maintenance of the Twelve Oaks site including security and caring for the lawn and property.
One of the concerns from local residents when Twelve Oaks was closed was the property’s vulnerability to crime.
“We haven’t had any issues,” Hutson said.
Although there may not have been human incidents at Twelve Oaks, neighbors in the area have been warning each other about a possible coyote den on the property. Residents have noticed several coyotes in the area.
In August 2013, the news of the closure of Twelve Oaks Lodge assisted living facility came in the form of a notice informing residents they would have two months to vacate the site. At the time Twelve Oaks had about 50 residents. The parent company be.group offered to help the residents find other lodgings, however for many the lodge meant more than just a place to live … it was their home.
The closure concerned not only the residents and their families but also the entire close-knit neighborhood. Neighbors had made the assisted living home part of their every day routine. Julia Leeper, Neighborhood Watch captain of the area, said that prior to the closure, neighbors walked through the property and got to know the residents well. In fact, for years National Night Out, a police-driven neighborhood watch/awareness program, held its traditional end of the night ceremony at Twelve Oaks.
Hutson said the objective of “has been to bring Twelve Oaks up to be.group standards…But after an exhaustive review, the cost of renovation would simply be too much to properly meet our safety standards.”
The be.group attempted to sell the property without success; however, the question of whether the group actually had the right to sell the property was raised.
Twelve Oaks had been in operation for about 80 years. Prior to the be.group taking possession of the site, it had managed the facility for then-owners National Charity League, Glendale chapter. The be.group, then known as the Southern California Presbyterian Homes (the name was changed in 2011), was brought in to manage Twelve Oaks. After a couple of years in 2002, the NCL transferred ownership to SCPH. Both SCPH/be.group and NCL Glendale are non-profit organizations. No money changed hands during the transaction.
The proposed sale of the property took NCL Glendale by surprise. Neighborhood residents, families and residents of Twelve Oaks protested the sale of the property and voiced their concern of future development.
In October 2013, NCL filed a lawsuit alleging that be.group violated an agreement that Twelve Oaks exists “solely for charitable purposes.”
“I am grateful the property didn’t get abandoned,” Leeper said of the be.group’s maintenance of the property during the lawsuit.
She added that neighbors continue to watch the property and report anything suspicious. Leeper often meets with Glendale Community Police Officer Abe Chung about the property.
“Anytime I have let him know of something suspicious [at Twelve Oaks] he [and the GPD] have been very cooperative,” she said.
Leeper said she had heard of the potential lawsuit agreement and hopes that Twelve Oaks will once again be a assisted living facility.
Attempts to contact NCL Glendale were unsuccessful by press time.