Photo by Steve HERNANDEZ
updated at 3:04 p.m.
By Ted AYALA
Residents of Twelve Oaks Lodge Assisted Living in Verdugo City woke up to shocking news on Friday morning that they had two months to vacate the site.
Up in the air are the possibilities as to how the site can be redeveloped. Dotting the property is a number of oak trees that, according to a City of Glendale ordinance on the preservation of its indigenous trees, “are natural aesthetic resources which help define the character of the city.”
“It is pertinent to the public interest,” the ordinance continues, “that these trees be protected from mutilation, indiscriminate cutting, damage, destruction or removal in order to provide for conservation purposes, for counteracting air and noise pollution, and minimizing soil erosion and related environmental damage.”
According to Hassan Haghani and Roger Kilsie of the city’s Community Development Department, no permits of any kind have yet been filed through their office.
Dan Hutson, spokesperson for be.group, the parent company of Twelve Oaks, said that because the transfer of ownership of the property has yet to be finalized, they cannot yet disclose the name of the buyer.
“All that I can tell you at this time is that it’s not a sale that would entail the continuation of Twelve Oaks as a [senior living facility],” he said.
When asked whether the entity assuming ownership of the property has filed the required permits to redevelop the site, including filing for permits that may require the modification or destruction of the oak trees currently standing on the facility, Hutson said that the permits had not yet been submitted.
“Nothing is so advanced right now as to the what the ultimate disposition of the trees will be,” he said. “I know that if this deal goes through, they’ll be in close consultation with the city to modify the site appropriately.
A source close to the sale said that be.group and the potential buyers of the Twelve Oaks site have been in talks “for at least a three months.”
Formerly Southern California Presbyterian Homes, be.group has been in existence for over 60 years providing assisted living for seniors. Eight locations aside from Twelve Oaks are under its ownership.
Be.Group assumed management of Twelve Oaks in 2002, taking full ownership of the facility two years later.
Story by Jason KUROSU
The Twelve Oaks Lodge, located at Sycamore and La Crescenta avenues in La Crescenta, is facing closure after nearly 80 years of operation as a home for the elderly.
The be.Group, which owns Twelve Oaks and eight other licensed retirement communities, will be selling the property according to Dan Hutson of the be.Group. Hutson cited safety concerns when discussing the Twelve Oaks sale.
“Our objective has been to bring Twelve Oaks up to Be Group standards,” said Hutson. “But after an exhaustive review, the cost of renovation would simply be too much to properly meet our safety standards.”
Hutson said the ideal renovation would necessitate the increase of the property’s density and residents. The increase in density would lead to a much larger facility than at present, which Hutson said “would not be keeping with the surrounding, single family home community.”
The increase in size would naturally lead to a need for more residents to fill spaces, something that has already proven difficult.
“We’ve already been providing rates that are affordable, though unaffordable from our perspective.”
According to Hutson, safety concerns are especially paramount with Twelve Oaks because it is an assisted living facility.
“Some of our residents there have needs that have to be attended to daily, whether it’s with medication or simply moving around. The area does require a bit of walking. It’s a hilly environment. It’s not optimal for an assisted living facility.”
The Be Group has begun notifying Twelve Oaks residents of the closure and is working with the residents and their families to locate new residences.
“It’s understandably upsetting,” said Hutson. “My hope is that we’ll accommodate all of the residents.”
Please continue to visit www.cvweekly.com for updates to this breaking story. Look for the full story in the Aug. 29 issue of Crescenta Valley Weekly.