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Revised rehab center wins a new city approval
In the planning stages since 2009
Rehab center on Hatch
An artist rendering of how the new 142-bed American Post Acute Care Rehab Center on Hatch Road will look.

A proposed acute care rehabilitation center for 1930 E. Hatch Road – first approved 11 years ago – was back before the Ceres Planning Commission Monday evening as a downsized version.

Dr. Meetinder Rai first proposed to build the American Post Acute Care Rehab Center in 2009. The project was dormant for a while but revived with Planning Commission extensions on March 20, 2017 and Dec. 3, 2018. On Monday, the commission reviewed and approved a revised set of drawings for a 47,348-square-foot building scaled down from 175 beds to 142.

Plans are also being revised to bring down costs, and to create an access road behind the center for emergency personnel. The number of parking spaces is also dropping from 82 to 70 stalls because of the reduction in room numbers. The Ceres Municipal Code calls for one parking stall per three beds.

The commission, meeting online through a public Zoom conference call due to social distancing requirements, approved a one-year extension.

“This project has kind of taken the long route to completion but we’re on a clear defined route now,” Architect Paul Pratt told the commission. “To do that we needed to reduce the number of patient beds to meet the requirements of state Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD).”

Pratt said the project has been submitted to the state agency which can take a year to approve plans before construction may start.

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.

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

The facility will include physical therapy and occupational therapy rooms, two dining areas, two patio areas, and 142 living units. Some will be two-patient rooms while some will be constructed for three patients.

Community Development Director 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.

Westbrook said after the meeting the changes to the plans were a result of the OSHPD review process.

“Staff was hopeful that OSHPD would issue their approval prior to the item being considered by the Planning Commission but it did not,” said Westbrook. “This one-year extension should get them through the remained of the review and approval process with OSHPD.”