The City Council Tuesday unanimously approved a 25-year ground lease of a city-owned lot in Barrio Logan to the nonprofit Family Health Centers of San Diego.
The organization, which operates several clinics for low-income San Diegans, plans to construct a two-story, 8,255-square-foot behavioral health facility on the property at the corner of National Avenue and Sampson Street.
According to city documents, the agency will build offices, meeting and consulting rooms on the upper floor, and 29 covered and uncovered parking spaces on the ground level, which patrons of the nearby Barrio Station youth facility will be allowed to use after 6 p.m.
The construction project will need separate city approval.
Councilman David Alvarez called the property an “under-utilized city asset.”
“We have a proposal before us that’s a significantly better use for the property, which is to provide services for mental health by Family Health Centers of San Diego,” Alvarez said.
Anthony White, the director of grants management for Family Health Centers, said at a previous meeting that the organization is seeing “an extreme rise in the number of mental health referrals,” which has led to waits of up to four to six weeks to see a mental health professional.
In the population of low-income, under-served and often uninsured patients seen by the organization, a mental health issue underlies their physical condition around 25 percent of the time, according to White.
The annual rent will start at $3,412.50 in the first year, with annual inflation adjustments over the life of the lease.
According to Family Health Centers, the organization serves more than 180,000 uninsured, low-income patients annually at its 18 locations, and via its mobile clinic, making it one of the 10 largest community clinic organizations in the United States.
In other actions today, the council authorized parking enforcement officers to issue citations when disabled parking placards are misused, a growing problem in San Diego, according to city staff. The action established a $740 fine for violations.
Council members also tightened financial disclosure rules for referendum campaigns, which will be required to file a form within 24 hours when someone donates more than $1,000. The filing requirement for contributions of more than $100 will be 10 days.
Independent expenditures of more than $1,000 will have to be filed within the signing period.
Supporters sat the amendments will allow the public to know who is backing campaigns while petition signatures are being collected.
—City News Service
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