Parking only issue at zoning hearing Changes sought for senior housing

December 15, 1992|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Lack of parking was the only concern voiced at last night's Mount Airy public hearing on proposed zoning changes to allow housing for senior citizens in the town.

Council members proposed raising the 1.5-space-per-unit minimum to two spaces per unit after Town Council President Delaine Hobbs suggested that many of the residents might have two cars or require parking spaces for regular visitors.

"You have to count on every unit needing that second vehicle," Mr. Hobbs said.

Amid audience laughter, Mr. Hobbs said the ordinance did not dTC allow for the possibility of "live-ins."

"You might have a widow who has a friend come for a month or two at a time," he said.

In addition, the three council members present at last night's meeting overwhelmingly approved zoning changes that would allow detached housing, town houses and attached homes with up to four units as special exceptions in all residential zones.

Senior apartments and condominiums would be allowed in medium-density, high-density and commercial zoning, town officials said.

Convalescent homes will be added to the exceptions allowed in medium-density areas.

Currently, the only two provisions for senior housing -- both special exceptions -- are convalescent homes in high-density or commercial areas and apartments for the elderly in medium density areas.

However, the council delayed formal action on the proposals even though it had a quorum because Mr. Hobbs said he wanted at least four members present for the final vote.

Council members Marc Nance and Oliver Davis were absent.

Mr. Hobbs said the zoning changes would be considered at the next council meeting in January.

The only citizen who commented on the zoning changes was Oscar Baker, a member of the senior housing panel that wrote the proposal.

"A lot of people are living longer and don't want the same maintenance on a house that they had before," he said.

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