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  • Against Overdevelopment

You call that Living?

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Dear ER:

The Beach Cities Health District board of directors asserts that in the next 15 years, in order to continue to provide the current level of services to the community, a new Healthy Living Campus must be developed at a cost of $530 million [“Redondo Beach Residents eye Healthy Living Campus plans,” ER July 18, 2019].

This development will take public land zoned for parks and recreation to build a “for profit” senior residential facility, preventing the possibility of open air recreation facilities.

Additionally, the 15 years of construction brings a high cost to Redondo Beach residents: lost time due to increased traffic congestion, air quality and environmental degradation, devaluation of property values, degrading roads, increase roadway repair costs, and the list goes on.

This over-the-top plan to keep popular programs functioning is unnecessary overkill. When we think of BCHD, the Life Span Services are the programs and services that we see. They include direct grants to organizations, youth services, Blue Zones, volunteer programs, and school programs. The 2018 cost of these programs was $4 million, just slightly above the revenue received from local property taxes. The other popular program is the Fitness Center/AdventurePlex, costing $3.3 million in 2018 and almost entirely covered by revenue from user fees.

These two programs account for $7.3 million out of a budget of nearly $14 million. The balance of $6.5 million is spent on administrative services and property operations. This amounts to 46 percent of the budget. The general nonprofit expenditure standard is a ratio of 80 percent expenditures on grants to the community and 20 percent spent on administrative expenses.

We can keep the LifeSpan Services and the Fitness Centers without building a Healthy Living Campus. The realistic solution is for the board of directors to adopt the nonprofit 80/20 standard practice and reduce administrative and property operation costs to 20 percent of the total budget.

Sheila W. Lamb

Redondo Beach

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