Residents still skeptical about nursing home proposal Developers' slide show fails to ease concerns

April 30, 1996|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

After an elaborate slide show from developers heralding a proposed nursing home on Bembe Beach Road, Annapolis residents still said they were not convinced of the plan's overall benefits.

Instead, residents again voiced concerns to Annapolis City Council members in a public hearing last night about the request from Mericare Associated Limited Partnership to construct a six-story nursing home complex on 14 acres of land off Bembe Beach Road.

As they did earlier this year, residents said the proposed project's impact on the wooded area's environment, roads and utilities would be detrimental.

The debate has been going on since the city annexed the property from the county and then earlier this year approved a request to zone the area for residential use .

"It looks good, it sounds great," said A. Scott Mobley, a resident of the Bembe Beach area and president of the Annapolis Neck Peninsula Federation. "But we ask that the city look at the plans with a grain of salt.

"In fact, we'd like the whole plan to come to a stop," Mr. Mobley said.

"It's a nice picture that the developers paint, but when the bulldozers hit the ground, we have a feeling the plans won't live up to their promises."

What Mericare proposes is a nursing home complex that would overlook the Chesapeake Bay and include a garage, tennis court, croquet field, library and restaurant.

The 202-unit complex would have 142 independent living units for senior citizens, who are capable of taking care of themselves. It also would include 30 assisted living units for those unable to function alone and 30 nursing care units for those needing full-time services.

Planning and zoning officials say the plan would have no negative impact on the environment, especially since Mericare has plans for reforestation and wetlands restoration. The building also would be aesthetically pleasing because it would be built below the tree line level, said Tom Smith, chief of current planning for the Department of Planning and Zoning.

The council is expected to make a decision on the application on May 13.

In other matters, the council passed a budget revision request from the Department of Public Works to pay a consultant $10,000 to evaluate the effects of changing the city's trash collection pickup from the current twice-a-week schedule to once a week.

The consultant is to complete the report by June 3, the day the council is to adopt an operating budget.

Pub Date: 4/30/96

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