Home Metrocom Community Universal City foster-care medical facility nixed

Universal City foster-care medical facility nixed

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VisionQuest proposed a former elementary school at 401 W. Byrd Blvd. as the site for a group home to house migrant youths, but the City Council’s denial of zoning changes has halted those plans. Photo by Collette Orquiz

UNIVERSAL CITY — Community backlash that stopped a proposed migrant shelter last year led some San Antonio health professionals to scrap a foster-care medical facility planned for the same site.

In January, city officials were scheduled to deliberate granting the group a specific-use permit to temporarily house children at the former Northview Elementary School building, 401 W. Byrd Blvd.

However, fallout from VisionQuest’s controversial youth immigrant-facility proposal spurred the San Antonio group to withdraw its plans from consideration, City Manager Kim Turner confirmed in an email.

City action in January 2020 put an end to those plans.

Last summer, medical practitioners had contacted the town, she added, inquiring about operating a place to provide health, psychological and educational assessments on children before they were moved to a group home.

According to reports, the youth would have been treated for up to 45 days before being relocated.

The Planning and Zoning Commission initially approved the SUP request before the application was pulled.

Under the city’s ordinance, the medical group must wait six months before resubmitting the proposal, Turner said.

“As a staff member, we try to remain neutral and work to make sure that members of the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council have everything they need to make an informed decision,” she said. “However, staff does work to provide clarity to the discussion and answer any questions for them.”

Unlike the initial, older situation involving the migrant facility, which was unanimously rejected by the P&Z commission and the council, the foster-care concept received mixed responses from neighbors.

A handful attended the first P&Z session where the plan was given a thumbs up after hearing a presentation, Turner said.

Another group rejected the idea at a second meeting.

According to reports, the medical professionals received endorsements from several agencies serving children.

Boysville in Converse did not take part in any endorsements, Chief Development Officer Beth Green said in a voicemail correspondence.

The company, however, was aware of the plans for the former school, she added.

Statewide, foster-care agencies have been under the microscope to ensure they are carrying out practices to protect children, with many institutions being required to update compliance procedures. The medical group could not be reached for comment.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This reflects so poorly on Universal City. How sad they are not supporting this plan to assist these children who have already suffered so much.

  2. I adamantly oppose the FOSTER care facility moving into our city, especially in a residental neighborhood. I suspect this is a backdoor attempt by Vision Quest to eventually manage to bring the migrant children here. I am thankful that our city counsil actually listen to and care what it’s citizens think. If this vacant school was in Olympia, the proposal would not have been giving a second thought!!!! Because Northveiw is an older and lower income neighborhood, Vision Quest thinks they get away with it and no one will fight back. Thank you City Counsel for having the backbone to say NO. Your actions will be remembered on ELECTION DAY.

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