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Planners extend permit for rehab center
• Plans for large rehab facility before the state
Hatch nursing
A 47,348-square-foot, 175-bed rehabilitation and nursing facility is proposed for 1930 E. Hatch Road, bringing in about 130 new jobs. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The Ceres Planning Commission last week approved another year extension for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build a $16 million 47,348 square-foot, 175-bed rehabilitation and nursing facility on Hatch Road.

Dr. Meetinder Rai is proposing to build the American Post Acute Care Rehab Center which was initially approved by the Planning Commission on Sept. 8, 2009 and again on March 20, 2017. An extension, said Community Development Director Tom Westbrook, will give Dr. Rai and project architect Gary Rogers time to prepare the construction plans.

Rogers said plans for the project must be approved by the state Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development which is reviewing plans. He said an extension of the CUP was needed to keep the permit current since the applicant and state are working out construction plan issues.

“When you work with the state of California, it is hard,” said Rogers. “We have our drawings in; they’ve been in a few weeks now and we’re working out the small bugs that we had. We had to readjust them to meet the new code which is not into effect yet, but by the time we finish them the new code will be in effect. And if we didn’t do it the way they wanted them then we could not qualify for the Medicare patients that we want to.”

He told planners that his hope is the project is ready for construction in six months. Rogers said the applicant is not backing away from the project, saying over $1 million has been invested already.

City Manager Toby Wells said the project offers “a huge amount of jobs” which are typically good paying. An added benefit to the Ceres community would be filling a great need for care.

As approved in 2009, the Hatch Road Rehabilitation Center is designed for 24-hour care for those 60 years of age or older as well as those needing rehabilitation care. City officials estimated then that the facility would employ 130 of which 60 would be on day shifts.

The facility will include physical therapy and occupational therapy rooms, two dining areas, two patio areas, and a total of 77 living units – 22 which will accommodate three beds and 54 being rooms for only two patients.

The parking lot that was approved in 2009 called for 147 parking spaces.

Senior Planner Tom Westbrook consider the facility a “good fit” for the Hatch Road block which already has several churches, a school, Davis Guest Home and doctor’s offices.

Both parcels are designated as Office (O) in the City General Plan and are governed under the City Zoning Ordinance with a zoning of Administrative Professional (A-P).

If constructed, the project would be Ceres’ first rehabilitation facility at its size.