News

CAPSLO earmarks nearby Prado Road property for family services

By

1 comment

Marred by years of code violation issues, the troubled property at 46 Prado Road that once belonged to San Luis Obispo resident William Sievers, will be rejuvenated as a space that helps the homeless community.

The Community Action Partnership of SLO closed escrow on 46 Prado Road—the neighbor of its 40 Prado Road facility. The nonprofit wants to expand its campus and use the new land as a resource site for families battling homelessness.

NEW NEIGHBOR The white quadrant indicates where CAPSLO's proposed 46 Prado site expansion will go, which anticipates helping homeless families with a case management office and small units equipped with bathrooms, kitchenettes, and play yards. - PHOTO COURTESY OF COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERSHIP OF SLO
  • Photo Courtesy Of Community Action Partnership Of Slo
  • NEW NEIGHBOR The white quadrant indicates where CAPSLO's proposed 46 Prado site expansion will go, which anticipates helping homeless families with a case management office and small units equipped with bathrooms, kitchenettes, and play yards.

CAPSLO CEO Elizabeth Steinberg told New Times that even though the group hasn't received data from the latest Point-in-Time count yet, it's witnessed a rise in the number of families who are unhoused.

"Over time and since COVID, the number of families losing their job or housing has just increased," she said. "But just from how many families we were seeing and serving, we were beginning to see our family dorm section just fill up. During COVID, we had some additional dollars to have some families stay in hotels with our case management services."

Since 2018, the 2.2-acre lot that Sievers owned at 46 Prado Road received a notice of violation and a flurry of inspections from SLO Code Enforcement. The city found many vehicles, debris, and garbage with high fuel loads crowding the area, blocking emergency access. Officials noticed several unpermitted and unsafe structures used for housing on the site. Two fires broke out on the property in December 2020 and June 2021.

In December 2022, a SLO County judge signed off on an emergency order filed by the city of SLO to appoint a receiver who could take over 46 Prado Road and bring it up to code. The California Receivership Group undertook the task. A receiver's report detailed that in mid-December 2023, heightened trespassing issues added to the difficulties. The receivership group found people living in abandoned water containers on the property and using gas stoves for cooking.

Mark Adams, the president of the receivership group, confirmed to New Times that they sold the property to CAPSLO for $1.3 million. He added that 46 Prado Road is the "perfect place" for CAPSLO's expansion plan because it's right next door and secluded from other residences. The nonprofit beat out two other potential buyers not only because its proposed offer was the highest but also because it had other funding streams lined up.

"They were eligible for the state grant, which could only go to nonprofits," Adams said. "We wanted to maximize the [net] proceeds for Mr. Sievers."

Adams is referring to a $709,514 grant CAPSLO received from the state's Department of Toxic Substances Control that will be used for site preparation, demolition, regulatory fees, and environmental remediation of the soil.

CAPSLO Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Leedale said that the nonprofit will understand the extent of the remaining cleanup process once it completes investigating the site using that grant.

She added that the receivership group cleaned 46 Prado Road to the current zoning standards and performed a phase 1 environmentally sensitive area investigation to document it.

"The property is currently zoned as office. The soils test performed was not so contaminated that the site could not be used for that purpose," Leedale said. "However, the level of metals and petroleum were too high for medical, child care, or residential use."

Along with the state grant, CAPSLO received $5 million from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund helmed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. CAPSLO spent $1.3 million of it to purchase the 46 Prado Road property.

"Our focus meshed with their request for service for families who are unhoused," CEO Steinberg said.

She said she envisions CAPSLO's proposed expanded "family dorm" to include smaller privacy-centered units with bathrooms, kitchenettes, play yards for kids, a communal room, and a case management office. But CAPSLO can only spend up to $2.5 million from the Bezos fund to develop the new site, prompting it to look for other funding sources to supplement the grant.

"It is a big gift and we're grateful," she said. "That is their regulation. They don't want money just going into a building, they want to build the support services around families." ∆

Tags

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

 

Add a comment