Taneytown To Set Standards For Senior Citizen Housing

September 12, 1990|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff writer

TANEYTOWN - In the wake of the latest proposal for a seniorcitizen housing project here -- and there have been four so far this year -- the City Council is expected to formulate stringent guidelines for all town retirement communities.

The guidelines, which are being researched and drawn up by City Manager Neal W. Powell, would regulate what a developer has to include in a housing project for senior citizens.

"The council wants to establish criteria for retirement communities," Powell said yesterday, a day after Westminster-based Townhouse Associates presented a concept plan for a 3 -acre, 44-unit senior housing development. "What we have now is very basic, and we want to look at the amenities, the types of things in somewhat self-contained communities."

The development proposed by Townhouse would be near Fairground Village, off Carnival Drive.

At the same time the new regulations begin to take shape, construction of the city's first-ever senior citizen housing project is expected to get under way.

Westminster accountant James Sturgill is set to begin renovation of the old Central Hotel on East Baltimore Street within weeks, Powell said. The $1 million-plus project will turn the hotel into 19 apartments for seniors.

Sturgill's and Townhouse's developments aren't the only ones aimed -- at least in part -- toward the senior housing market.

Earlier this year, plans were revived for the Mountain Brook Farm development, which has been held up since 1986 by the developer's lawsuit against the county over zoning. Senior citizen housing is to be part of the 312-unit project.

And Ellicott City dentist Richard M. Hemphill's 115-acre, 400-unit golf course development includes plans for senior citizen housing. Hemphill's development, however, is stalled indefinitely since he filed for protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy law in May that would allow him to reorganize his debts and renew his development plans.

With the possible influx of more and more senior housing here, the City Council decided that the time was right to make certain that the projects are done right.

"They want to pull together a consensus, an idea of what the retirement communities should be like," Powell said.

The city already strictly regulates what kinds of landscaping developers must provide; the senior housing guidelines would work in much the same way.

The Townhouse Associates development must still seek concept plan approval before proceeding. Powell said the project has received favorable reviews so far.

Senior citizen housing is just one aspect of the development picture here, where last year more than 824 new houses were on the books and almost as many more are expected to be approved by the end of 1990.

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