Clovis residents show concern of rehab center in neighborhood

As part of a collaborative effort to reduce the number of premature births, the city council adopted a proclamation recognizing Nov. 17 as World Prematurity Day in the City of Clovis. (Daniel Leon/Clovis Roundup)

Clovis residents came together at the city council meeting on Monday, Aug. 6 to express their concerns about a proposed rehab facility in their neighborhood.

Many of the neighbors at the meeting said their safety is at risk because Matthew Tatum plans to open a mental health treatment facility in the Deauville Subdivision near Temperance and Shepherd avenues.

Clovis resident Steve Manelski was among the neighbors who expressed concerns about the Sierra Meadows Behavioral Health, Inc.

Manelski read his statement to the council, saying “this matter is being brought forth by concerned property owners and tenants of the Deauville Subdivision who just recently learned of the proposed use planned for this single family residence.”

Manelski said he is especially concerned because neither the planning commission or the city council informed the neighbors about the proposed change of the single family residence.

Manelski listed parking and safety among the issues that he believes will be created because of the rehab center.

Manelski said visitors and additional support staff coming to the rehab center at Deauville Circle will cause parking issues.

He added that group homes can be a magnet for uninvited third-party visitors, causing worry for parents who take their children to the park.

“Many first responders who include police and other law enforcement residents who live or own homes here have also raised objections to the proposed mental health treatment facility,” Manelski said. “Mr. Tatum can’t possibly provide the type of security that a traditional facility provides, including lock-and-key security for its patients and the neighboring community alike.”

Tatum said he deeply cares about the community and will continue to make sure the neighborhood stays safe.

“I do my darndest staying up long nights, seven days a week, making sure the people we take care of in the facilities and the communities those facilities are located in are well taken care of,” Tatum said.

Councilmember Lynne Ashbeck excused herself for a short break after giving an emotional statement in which she pleaded with the residents to be careful about making judgements and consider the needs of the people who need the rehab facility.

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