The community of about 50 residents from Country Club Vistas I vehemently opposes the establishment of an assisted living home in their neighborhood. Despite a meeting to address concerns with the home’s owner, Julian Meier, and his business partner, Kris Bhatka, the residents remain resolute in their opposition.
Community’s Concerns and Opposition
Residents expressed strong objections regarding the planned assisted living home, citing fears of potential declines in property values, increased traffic, and disturbances to their peace due to potential emergency lights and sirens. Additionally, some residents voiced concerns about the possibility of illegal drug activities occurring within the home and questioned Meier’s compliance with permit laws and inspections.
Timeline and Actions Taken
Meier and Bhatka purchased two properties, with plans to convert them into an assisted living home. Despite ongoing renovations, they aim to open both homes in the coming weeks. The Arizona Department of Health Services is reviewing Meier’s application for one of the homes while awaiting the application for the other.
The residents were made aware of Meier’s plans only in mid-December, sparking immediate objections. Meetings were organized by the Property Owners Association (POA) to address these concerns, with Meier meeting with residents at Las Campanas rec center.
Legal Opinions and Community Response
The POA sought legal advice, leaning on the interpretation that the Fair Housing Act takes precedence over the neighborhood’s restrictive covenants. However, residents expressed disagreement, seeking their own legal counsel and challenging the interpretation provided by the POA.
Resident Opposition and Challenges
Residents contested Meier’s assertions regarding the number of expected daily visitors, the nature of the residents, and the impact on the neighborhood’s tranquility. They also criticized Meier for what they perceived as insufficient research before purchasing the property and accused him of not adhering to the community’s guidelines.
Addressing Concerns and Community Actions
Despite efforts to address residents’ concerns, including requests for a community vote, tensions persisted. Meier expressed regret for not initiating a vote before purchasing the property and reiterated his intention to operate the home in a manner that would disprove residents’ apprehensions.
Legal Actions and Community Engagement
Residents and the POA have explored various legal avenues and contacted government representatives for clarification on zoning regulations and the home’s legality within the neighborhood. Efforts to seek additional legal opinions and potentially file complaints against involved parties have also been initiated by some residents.
Owner’s Responses and Future Plans
Meier defended his compliance with county and state regulations, assuring that the facility would meet all necessary standards. He emphasized measures to secure medications and downplayed assertions that the home would adversely affect property values, despite residents’ skepticism about his profit motives.
Continuing Community Involvement
Residents are continuing to seek legal counsel and are engaging with local authorities, expressing dissatisfaction with the lack of transparency and decision-making processes concerning the assisted living home.
While the situation remains contentious, both parties seem entrenched in their positions, with no immediate resolution in sight.