ACADIA HEALTHCARE OUT-PATIENT TREATMENT AND COUNSELING CENTER PROJECT
Conditional Use Permit 2022-0009
Raymond Barragan | Principal Planner | (714) 573-3016 | RBarragan@TustinCA.org
Leila Carver | Senior Planner Consultant | (714) 573-3126 | LCarver@TustinCA.org
Appeal from Denial of Request for Disability-related Reasonable Accommodation
On April 12, 2022, the Community Development Director issued a Use Determination that the proposed land use described as a treatment and counseling center for Opioid Use Disorder utilizing medicated-assisted treatment (MAT) in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies is similar to the medical land use category that includes clinics for out-patients only, including medical clinics, healthcare centers and urgent care, which is allowed in the Downtown Commercial Core Specific Plan (DCCSP) Development Area 3 with the approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP).
On September 20, 2022, pursuant to Section 35.130(b)(7)(i) of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the applicant submitted a formal request for a disability-related reasonable modification to the City of Tustin’s policies, practices, and/or procedures to allow Acadia Healthcare Company to operate an outpatient treatment and counseling center, commonly referred to as a “comprehensive treatment center” or “CTC” at 535 E. First Street. The crux of the request is to allow Acadia to operate a CTC at the project location in a manner that complies with the City’s objective zoning standards and assuages the City’s concerns. The request for accommodation includes a proposal for the City to re-evaluate and change its prior use determination and approve the project through at a staff-level based on objective development criteria that protect staff’s and the community interests.
On October 21, 2022, the City denied the request for Disability-related Reasonable Accommodation (RA) for the proposed project and determined that a modification of the City’s policies, practices, and/or procedures is not necessary to accommodate the proposed project and that the CUP process provides a pathway for a fair hearing, and it would be improper to assume that the City process will ultimately yield an outcome that violates the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).
On October 28, 2022, the applicant filed an appeal of the City’s denial of the Request for Disability-related RA.
Conditional Use Permit Request
A request for a CUP to allow the operation of an out-patient treatment and counseling center for Opioid Use Disorder utilizing MAT in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies (Medical Clinic for Out-Patients Only) at 535 E. First Street, Second Floor. The proposed facility will occupy an existing 10,610 square foot office building (second floor) and will be used for on-site opioid addictions treatment that includes a combination of on-site dispensing of medication and on-site counseling and behavioral therapies. The applicant is proposing to operate Monday through Friday from 5:00 am to 2:00 pm and Saturdays from 6:00 am to 9:00 am. It is expected that approximately 140 total clients would be served per day. The project site is located within the Downtown Commercial Core Specific Plan – Development Area 3 (DCCSP-DA3) where “Medical Clinics for Out-patients Only” are listed as conditionally permitted uses.
Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) Advisory Statement Related to the Proposed Project
If approved, the proposed CTC would exclusively serve persons receiving treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. To be a patient at the CTC, an individual cannot be actively using illegal drugs. Persons receiving such treatment are “qualified individual[s] with a disability” afforded full protection under the ADA. And the ADA prohibits the City from discriminating against qualified individuals in making land use decisions.
In considering this application and the appeal, the Planning Commission may not treat the proposed CTC differently than it would any other medical clinic. It may not base its decision on the fact that patients at the CTC will be receiving treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. Nor may unsubstantiated fears, prejudice, or stereotypes related to persons recovering from Opioid Use Disorder form the basis of the Planning Commission’s decision.
On January 10, 2023, the Planning Commission adopted the following:
Any decision of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council by the applicant or any other person within ten (10) calendar days of the Planning Commission action. All appeals shall be made in writing and accompanied by a deposit or fee as required by City Council resolution in accordance with Section 9294b of the Tustin City Code.
A link to the Planning Commission agenda and report for this item is available here. For more information regarding this item, please contact Principal Planner Raymond Barragan at RBarragan@TustinCA.org.
INTRACORP MULTIFAMILY RESIDENTIAL PROJECT