Yolo County supervisors approve purchase of St. John’s Retirement Village – Daily Democrat

The Yolo County Board of Supervisors voted to pass a resolution for final approval of the purchase of St. John’s Retirement Village in Woodland.

During Tuesday’s meeting, a final public hearing was held before supervisors took action, ultimately approving the purchase. At a previous meeting held on May 10, supervisors unanimously decided to proceed with the public hearing and asked staff to review the purchase and sale agreement in light of a lawsuit filed to attempt to block the sale.

After St. John’s announced it would close earlier this year, county staff were approached by facility executives and St. John’s board members with the option of acquiring the property , located at 135 Woodland Ave. In April, a community group led by Stan Levers, who is a former St. John’s board member, submitted an alternative proposal for the use of the property. The St. John’s board of directors decided that Levers’ proposal was not viable, opting instead to go ahead with the sale to the county leading to the ongoing litigation.

Kimberly Hood, assistant county attorney, told supervisors about changes to the sales agreement to reflect the lawsuit. Some changes in timelines have been made to push back the closing date. An external closing date of September 30 has also been established. If the agreement is not reached by then, the county has the right to terminate the agreement or consider an extension depending on the progress of the litigation.

“It is important to note that one of the conditions added to deal with the lawsuit was that the lawsuit must be dismissed with prejudice or resolved to the satisfaction of the county in its sole and absolute discretion,” Hood explained Tuesday.

The St. John’s property contains the retirement village which spans approximately 9.83 developed acres and includes nearly 100 residential units, an administrative facility, a commercial kitchen and a skilled nursing facility. The property is also comprised of 3.68 acres of adjoining undeveloped land to the north.

During the May 10 meeting, staff presented plans for the property, which included low-income housing for CalWorks families and seniors, hospice and conservation placements, opportunities for intergenerational spaces and adult day health care. The county is also in talks with the Meals on Wheels organization to lease the commercial kitchen, allowing the nonprofit to dramatically increase production and bring service closer to more communities.

Public feedback at Tuesday’s meeting was positive, with many expressing support for the project and the staff’s plans for it to help the elderly population.

“I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who spoke up on this issue,” supervisor Gary Sandy said. “The testimony is still so moving and compelling when you hear the love and care that the people of this county show for the elderly population. It’s really quite extraordinary.

Supervisors approved the motion in a unanimous vote, with each expressing enthusiasm for the plans, hailing the purchase as a great opportunity for the county.

“The multigenerational model that we have before us does so much to fill so many gaps in our service system, in our safety net, in our elder support system,” said supervisor Don Saylor. “It’s a phoenix rising. We have something that could become a hole in the Woodland community and it could be years before the buildings can be used for other purposes and we have this opportunity to not let that happen and transform the loss of St. John’s Retirement Village as the Stoll family’s original purpose for continued service to the community.

“I am personally committed to going all the way and making sure we have this opportunity to provide a range of services and that this does not become a sad moment in Woodland’s history,” concluded Saylor.

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