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Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Planning (OMNCP) Group Votes Not to Approve Super 8 Conversion, SD City Attorney to Push Ahead with Project Anyway!

Nov 11, 2017 10:24AM ● Published by Paul Spear

Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Planning (OMNCP) Group Votes Not to Approve Super 8 Conversion, SD City Attorney to Push Ahead with Project Anyway!

The Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Planning (OMNCP) Group voted 12 to 2 not to approve the Palm Avenue Super 8 Motel San Diego Misdemeanants At - Risk (SMART) Program at Wednesday November 8th Meeting held in the Community Room at the Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Branch Library

Rodel Reyes, Executive Chair Organizer of National Night Out Program and Nestor Community Resident reported that the Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Planning (OMNCP) Group voted 12 to 2 not to approve the Palm Avenue Super 8 Motel San Diego Misdemeanants At - Risk (SMART) Program.  Nevertheless, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott will continue to push the SMART Program in total disregard for the interests of the South Bay Community.  The next step for the City of San Diego is to present its SMART Program to the CA Coastal Commission for final approval.  We would like to thank everyone for attending.  It was well attended (standing room only).  Also, thank you Media (Channel 10 ABC News, 8 CBS News, 7 NBC News, and Entravision) for bringing awareness of South Bay Community’s concerns, issues, and voice on this matter.  

In July the San Diego City Council Votes to Approve Purchasing Super 8 Motel on Palm Ave for a Treatment Center for Chronic Misdemeanor Offenders.

The proposed use for the Vacant Motel will be to house Chronic homeless offenders in a treatment environment.  These offenders are a drain on the system and are perpetually re-offending.  They are drug abusers, alcoholics and or psychologically impaired.  They are in a revolving door of the system and once they are released they are immediately involved in offending again.

The treatment Program to be utilized is SMART (San Diego Misdemeananys At-Risk Track). The SMART pilot program addresses an ongoing challenge of the criminal justice system:  low-level misdemeanor offenders who cycle through the system without access to services, coordination of care, or meaningful incentives to engage with social service providers. Many are arrested, taken into custody and released, only to be arrested again before the original charge comes to trial. To stop this revolving door, the City Attorney’s Office, in collaboration with the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, created the (SMART) pilot program. 

SMART prioritizes chronic offenders with acute drug addictions and complex social service needs. These offenders have one or more drug offenses since Proposition 47 took effect in 2014, and have been arrested at least twice in the past six months for a quality-of-life offense.

SMART will safely divert chronic misdemeanor offenders, particularly those who are otherwise resistant to intervention, to a case manager and offered individualized treatment.

Many problems remain with how this has been handled by the City of San Diego:
1.  Why was there no notice to the public and residents of the area before they moved ahead with the purchase of motel?
2.  How will this effect the surrounding residents and families (large cluster of Mobile Home Parks)
3.  How will the surrounding small businesses be effected?
4.  Will property values drop due to the presence of the offenders in the neighborhood?
5.  What will happen if the inmates choose to leave the program and where will they go?  Into the community to offend again?
6.  What about safety issues for the area and prevention of more crime
7.  How will the community support such an effort, there are no available jobs to place these program participants into?
8.  Why was our small community assessed for this program instead of a larger city with more available services not selected?
9.  Why is this program which has limited data about program success )only 10 beds so far with one potential graduate) being introduced with no prior information or data?
10.. Why couldn't the Motel be used to provide low-rate Motel services to tourists and locals who can't afford the current Hotels?
11.  Why couldn't the Motel be used to house the number of homeless non-offending population in a safe manner?
12.  Why is this purchase and plan being run through the system so quickly and without prior notice or consideration for the community?
13.  Why hasn't the Coastal Commission been consulted on the matter?

Thank you to Rodel Reyes for his help with reporting on the meeting and keeping us up to date on the events surround this situation.
                                                                   ###

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Paul Spear, Publisher, and Editor of Dig Imperial Beach 



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