A residential care facility for elderly in the 100 block of Wayfarer Lane could be up and running as soon as mid-May if the city’s planning commission OKs the project at Wednesday’s regular meeting.
But not everyone in the residential neighborhood of the proposed assisted living home is on the same page, with some citing concerns about potential added traffic and parking problems.
The Planning and Zoning Commission will take up a conditional use permit for the residential care facility at 157 Wayfarer Lane when it meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Police Facility, 2360 N. McCulloch Blvd.
Donald and Brenda Morris are proposing to house up to 10 elderly residents in need of daily care at the home and employ as many as six with two on duty at any given time.
City planning staff is recommending the project be approved with some alterations including: a reduction in the maximum number of residents to eight, a concrete/asphalt surface to accommodate two added parking spaces and fire sprinklers installed within 180 days of approval. Five parking spaces are required by the city at the site.
The city received several calls expressing concerns about the project, according to a city staff report. Two letters from nearby residents citing perceived problems the facility would pose were posted in the commission agenda packet as well.
Saturday, Mary Buckelew, one of the letter writers at 156 Surfsong Lane, conceded that she liked that the residence appeared to be getting spruced up, but she said her concerns remained.
“I don’t want it to be trend in my neighborhood,” Buckelew said. “I would prefer it in a mixed use (zoning location).”
A conditional use permit is allowed for assisted living facilities in single-family residential neighborhoods.
Buckelew said she’s concerned the assisted living operation might add traffic in a neighborhood where children now can play in the street from time to time.
Kathleen Tippett, 148 Surfsong Lane, expressed similar sentiments, saying people visiting residents, ambulances and the facility’s staff would add to the neighborhood’s traffic.
“I don’t agree with a commercial (use) in residential neighborhood,” Tippett said.
Donald Morris disagreed with the perspective that it’s a commercial use, saying if it was a commercial use then the city would have required a zoning change.
It’s a home for the elderly residents who will live there and the Morris’ said they don’t anticipate making much from the operation. They already run an assisted living facility, Global Care Assisted Living, at 2842 N. McCulloch Blvd., which the city staff report called “a successful assisted living facility.”
Sharon Nelson is a couple of residences away from the proposed care facility at 149 Wayfarer Lane and said she would have no problem with the operation.
“They are wonderful people and great caregivers,” said Nelson, who had her father-in-law in Global Care Assisted Living as recent as a couple years ago. “I just don’t have a huge problem with it.”
“They’ve put in new windows and are doing a lot of work (to fix up the home),” Nelson said. “They’ve always had good employees.”
Those that have problems with the assisted living at the residence are missing some key points, Donald Morris said.
The property had been a rental for the last four or five years and those renting the home didn’t always take the best care of the property, Donald Morris said. His sister, Debbie Castro, is selling the home to Morris.
Concerns about added traffic are unfounded, Donald Morris said.
“Maybe once every two weeks a resident will get a visitor,” Brenda Morris said. More people end up visiting a family with teenagers in the neighborhood than the assisted living facility will get, Donald Morris added.
George Talley, across the street from Tippett at 172 Surfsong Lane, didn’t see anything wrong the planned residential living facility.
“If they pay taxes, I’m for it,” Talley said. “Why not get some tax money out of it.”
Talley said he didn’t expect the assisted living facility would add significantly to neighborhood traffic.
“They might have a visitor every now and then, but who cares,” Talley said.
Donald and Brenda Morris said they anticipate operating the assisted living strictly out of the Wayfarer Lane residence and using the McCulloch Boulevard residence only as their home
In other business, the commission is slated to vote on a zone change from limited commercial to general commercial for property at 70, 74 and 78 Capri Lane.
Also, commissioners will decide on a conditional use permit to allow a contractor storage yard/outdoor storage in the general commercial district at 70, 74 and 78 Capri Lane. Councilman David McAtlin operating as Sam Nichols Electric, is seeking the permit.
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