Elderly-care facility gets OK from County Council

January 05, 1996|By Dan Morse | Dan Morse,SUN STAFF

After months of pleading their case before Howard County officials and planners, a group of developers won approval this week to build an elderly-care facility just north of Laurel.

The facility will provide three stages of care -- independent living, assisted living and nursing home -- allowing people to live in the same place as they age.

"There's a lot of demand for this," said Richard B. Talkin, an attorney for Hopkins Road Limited Partnership, the developer of the $35 million project.

Mr. Talkin said many Columbia residents want their older relatives to move to the area.

Tuesday night, the Howard County Council approved the project, overruling a previous recommendation by the Howard County Planning Board.

The Planning Board objected to the project's location -- near the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory off U.S. 29 -- because it would be built on land classified as a Planned Employment Center (PEC).

Planners wanted to save the land for hotels, hospitals, child-care centers and other business-type uses.

But Mr. Talkin was able to convince the County Council that the project "won't just be an apartment complex."

The developers agreed to provide services such as nursing care, 24-hour emergency service, therapy areas and transportation for the residents.

The facility would open in two to three years at the earliest, Mr. Talkin said, and have as many as 230 units. He predicted it would create 65 jobs.

Council members Charles C. Feaga, Mary C. Lorsung and Dennis R. Schrader voted for the project.

"I'm comfortable with this," Mr. Feaga said. "The PEC is really a business area. This is a business."

Council members C. Vernon Gray and Darrel E. Drown voted against the project.

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