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Proposed Assisted-Living Zoning Rules Slated For March 8 Hearing



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Members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions and comment next week on a set of proposed borough zoning regulations on assisted-living complexes, which have been submitted to the Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) for review.

If the BZC approves those rules, the developer who submitted them would then use those regulations to apply for the construction of an approximately 70-unit assisted-living housing complex at a 3.97-acre site at 37 Church Hill Road.

The project's working name is Church Hill Village. Developer William Donohue of Old Greenwich is seeking to construct it.

The law firm Gager, Emerson, Rickart, Bower & Scalzo, LLP, representing the developer, has submitted one page of proposed zoning regulations on assisted-living facilities to the BZC, which will be the subject of the hearing. That public hearing is scheduled for a BZC session which starts at 7 pm on Wednesday, March 8, at Edmond Town Hall, 45 Main Street.

The proposed zoning regulations contain topics including: a definition of assisted-living housing; allowing assisted living as a permitted use; the requirements for buildings and plots; parking areas; and driveways. The proposed regulations specify that a complex must have access to a public water supply, sanitary sewers, and an arterial street. As defined by the proposed regulations, "assisted living" refers to an elderly housing complex in which a variety of basic services are provided, such as nursing and assistance with the activities of daily living, to a stable resident population.

General plans for the proposed assisted-living complex are expected to be displayed and discussed at the March 8 session.

In February, the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), which serves as the borough's planning agency, endorsed the proposed borough zoning regulations on assisted-living complexes, recommending a modification to the proposed rules. The assisted-living regulations, if approved by the BZC, would create a mechanism through which the developer could seek BZC approval for a special permit, a site development plan endorsement, and a Village District certificate.

The 37 Church Hill Road site is in a P-1 (Professional) zone. It also is in the Village District overlay zone. Village District zoning is a mechanism intended to regulate the aesthetics of projects, as viewed from the street. New buildings in the borough's Village District overlay zone are limited to a maximum 6,500 square feet of enclosed space.

Although the BZC does not have zoning regulations on assisted living, the P&Z has had such rules for many years. Local assisted-living complexes include Masonicare's Lockwood Lodge at 139 Toddy Hill Road, and Maplewood at Newtown at 166 Mt Pleasant Road.

The Church Hill Village site at 37 Church Hill Road is on the eastern corner of Church Hill Road and The Boulevard. The undeveloped property is owned by Pepper Partners, LLC. A four-way traffic signal recently started operating there at the intersection of Church Hill Road, The Boulevard, and the main driveway for The Village at Lexington Gardens retail/office complex at 30 Church Hill Road.

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