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Redding Council OKs Riverfront Land Sale to Launch Dignity Health’s Wellness Center, Sets HOPE Van Conditions & Considers a Tierra Oaks Development Proposal

City Attorney Barry DeWalt, right, City Manager Kurt Starman and Assistant City Manager Barry Tippin. Photos by Jon Lewis.

City Attorney Barry DeWalt, right, City Manager Kurt Starman and Assistant City Manager Barry Tippin. Photos by Jon Lewis.

 

Dignity Health got the final go-ahead for a $50 million wellness center on riverfront property off of Hartnell Avenue when the Redding City Council voted 5-0 on Tuesday to approve the sale of five parcels for $641,000.

The unanimous vote wraps up negotiations that began last year and allows Dignity, the parent company of Mercy Medical Center, to begin work on a campus of offices and clinics that is expected to generate between 120 and 180 high-paying jobs and bolster Redding’s status as a health care hub for Northern California.

“This is a fantastic project for our community,” a beaming Mayor Missy McArthur said before calling for the vote. “This is a big deal for our community,” echoed Councilman Brent Weaver, adding that the project will complement and help protect the 35-acre Henderson Open Space along the Sacramento River behind the former Raley’s supermarket on Hartnell.

Since three of the parcels, with a combined sale price of $530,000, belong to Redding’s defunct Redevelopment Agency, those proceeds will be returned to the state of California. The city will realize about $180,000 from the sale.

Under terms of the deal, Dignity agrees to award the city a $21,000 community grant to pay half the cost of an environmentally friendly parking lot for users of a proposed public kayak and raft launch.

In addition, Dignity agrees to reimburse Redding up to $350,000 if the wellness center causes the city to miss out on $350,000 in grants previously awarded by the California Division of Boating and Waterways for construction of the launch ramp.

Dignity also agrees to contribute at least $80,000 for improvements to the Henderson Open Space and provide room for the historic Dobrowsky House if a group comes forward to pay for the home’s relocation. The large Craftsman-style home is located at the corner of Yuba and Oregon streets and is currently slated for demolition if the new Shasta County Courthouse project ever gets funded.

The wellness center project also enjoys the support of the Shasta County Board of Realtors, the Redding Chamber of Commerce, Shasta Voices and the Trails and Bikeways Council of Greater Redding.

In other action Tuesday, the council:

The HOPE van

–Voted 4-1, with Weaver dissenting, to amend a zoning ordinance to allow “mobile medical operations” (namely the Shasta Community Health Center’s HOPE van) to make its rounds without having to go through the time and expense of securing a temporary use permit.

The large, colorful van makes visits during the week to the Good News Rescue Mission, Empire Recovery Center, the Shasta Community Health Dental Center (in the Shasta College Health Sciences & University Center) and the Shasta County Social Services campus on Breslauer Lane.

Some downtown business owners have complained that the van interferes with parking, discourages customers and promotes loitering, vandalism, littering and vagrancy. Late last year, the Planning Commission recommended an ordinance requiring the van’s operator to secure a temporary use permit. Opposition to that idea prompted the council to ask for another option, which Development Services Director Larry Vaupel introduced Tuesday.

The new plan requires the van operator and the city to agree on an operating plan prior to providing dental, medical, diagnostic and treatment services to its indigent and low-income clients. The plan must address safety, loitering, litter, communications and outreach concerns.

Village at Tierra Oaks

Declined to take direct action on a request from Marcus Partin to extend city wastewater treatment services to his proposed 56-acre subdivision on Old Oregon Trail. The 89-unit project, intended for homeowners 55 years of age and older, is across from the Tierra Oaks Golf Club and outside Redding city limits.

Mayor Missy McArthur, left, Councilman Brent Weaver and Councilwoman Francie Sullivan listen to the Tierra Oaks proposal.

Mayor Missy McArthur, left, Councilman Brent Weaver and Councilwoman Francie Sullivan listen to the Tierra Oaks proposal.

.After a lengthy debate about Redding’s sphere of influence, the importance of projects like the Village at Tierra Oaks and the city’s 28-year-old policy discouraging the extension of city services outside city limits, the council, with a 3-2 vote, instead referred Partin’s proposal to the Planning Commission. Mayor McArthur’s successful motion directs the commission to consider “tweaking” the city’s General Plan to allow the request. Council members Francie Sullivan and Brent Weaver cast the dissenting votes.

Any changes to the General Plan would need to be approved by the council.

Jon Lewis

Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.

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