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Land Use: Assisted Living

Mansion - Luxury Life-Care Facility

The Challenge

In 2006, HDC Group submitted an application for a luxury life-care facility (assisted living facility with for-sale product) in the Deep Creek area of Apple Valley, CA. Called “The Mansion,” this project would consist of 350 for-sale units, situated on 40 acres.

Long-cherished by local residents for its dirt roads, large lots and scenic desert view-sheds, the Deep Creek area is a very rural community. Many people from this area fought to protect their rural lifestyle by supporting Measure N, a growth control measure passed by voters in 1999 that limits single-family residential development to half-acre lots. Even though this measure clearly did not apply to the assisted living facility; this reality was quickly lost to Deep Creek residents.  Many residents  mobilized to oppose the project claiming it was in violation of limits imposed by Measure N and in July 2007 The Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the project.

Key Activities

Messaging: We formulated messages that emphasized the medical nature of the facility and gathered supporters using direct mail, email messages and phone banking, strategically timed before public hearings.

Government Leverage
: At our urging, the client retained legal counsel to draft an opinion demonstrating the project was compliant with Measure N. Additionally, we briefed and secured formal support from business groups, small businesses organizations, senior citizen groups and community service organizations. With our now substantial base of supporters, we  mobilized them to attend public hearings and deliver numero

us expressions of support to local officials in the form of 100 letters.

Winning Results

Following a three-hour public hearing, with testimony from 60 opponents and 80 supporters, the Planning Commission denial was overturned by the Town Council.

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