ROCKLIN (CBS13) — Fierce opposition against a proposed behavioral health hospital in Rocklin is building with new details uncovered by those who don’t want the facility built near a school and neighborhood.
The proposed site is on West Ranch View Drive near Whitney High School and a Rocklin neighborhood.READ MORE: Local World War II Hero Has Yet To Be Cremated, Months After Death
“We set up a Facebook group, and in a matter of two weeks, over 850 people joined,” said Joe Patterson.
He’s with a Rocklin neighborhood group helping to organize the fight against the facility. He filed a public records act request and says the results reveal the city of Rocklin and Universal Health Services have been in contact long before plans were ever made public.
“We found that the city’s been working on this with the hospital 18 months,” Patterson said.
In an April 2014 obtained by opponents, the city manager writes, “The mayor and I had a chance to speak and we both agree the proposed facility would be a real plus for our community,” he adds, “I hope to add Rocklin, California to my list of known UHS facilities.”READ MORE: International Women's Day: Celebrating Women In The Air Force
Patterson argues neighbors should have had more chance to weigh in along the way.
“And during that time there’s no engagement with the community until the public notice was put out four weeks ago, prior to the originally scheduled meeting,” he said.
Opponents don’t deny the need for mental health facilities, as it would be the only such facility in Placer County. The location’s close proximity to children is driving the controversy.
The 102-bed facility would be locked and fenced off with 24-7 security and cameras. Critics worry the patients who are treated there could post a safety risk.
“The only interest I have, which is a pretty big one, is the health of our community, the mental health, and the safety of our kids,” he said.MORE NEWS: Stockton Gets Poor Ranking In New ‘Happiest Cities’ Study
The final planning commission meeting on the issue was set for November, but it has been moved to Dec. 15 at the Rocklin Event Center to handle the number of people expected to attend.