Lawsuit Disputes Vote Against Oroville Mental Health Center
A lawsuit filed last month in U.S. District Court in Sacramento alleges that Butte County and the city of Oroville rejected a proposal to establish a mental health center in Oroville for "discriminatory reasons" and seeks to move forward with the project, the Chico Enterprise-Record reports. The Butte County Department of Behavioral Health early last year proposed building a mental health center in downtown Oroville that would include outreach services to the homeless. However, amid protests by residents and nearby business owners that the center's clients could disrupt local businesses or threaten children in a nearby park, the City Council voted not to permit the center to be built because of insufficient parking, upholding a previous decision by the planning commission. The lawsuit seeks an order to continue with the project and a declaration that the county and city violated state and federal anti-discrimination laws, in addition to unspecified damages. The city's decision not to permit the establishment of the center "blatantly discriminated against people with psychiatric disabilities," a spokesperson for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill said. The plaintiffs in the case are represented by Protection and Advocacy, several local law firms and Legal Services of Northern California (Weston, Chico Enterprise-Record, 5/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.