Senior housing plan gets initial approval from appeals board

Developer clears step in effort to construct 180-unit complex

July 28, 2000|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

A Pennsylvania company has cleared the first hurdle in its bid to construct a 180-unit senior housing complex in Westminster, on the north side of Gorsuch Road.

The county Board of Zoning Appeals has granted International Senior Development LLC of Fort Washington, Pa., permission to move forward with plans to develop the 6.9-acre residential site for senior living.

State and county agencies must approve the developer's site plans before construction can begin. The project must also win the approval of the county Planning and Zoning Commission.

"As the population in Carroll County continues to grow and age, quality senior housing becomes critical for the quality of life of our senior residents," John T. Lyburn, the county's economic development director, wrote in support of the proposed facility. "Conceptual plans for this particular project show attractive senior housing buildings surrounded by an aesthetically pleasing environment."

Approval by the board is required because the land is zoned for residential use, which does not include senior housing. The developers had to get the board to approve their plans for a different use of the land in what is known as a conditional permit.

Senior housing is considered a conditional use. Documents submitted to the three-member appeals board show 100 studio apartment-styled units for independent seniors and a separate building to house an additional 80 assisted-living units.

Each building will have a dining room, which will be used to serve group meals.

The site is bounded by Cranberry Station Elementary School and several commercial buildings, though several residences remain in the area.

In handing down its written decision July 19, the appeals board concluded that the facility "will not generate any adverse affects."

"The applicant's facility will have no negative impact on neighboring property values, and it is compatible with the surrounding area," wrote Ronald Hoff, chairman of the appeals board.

About 40 vehicles will travel to or from the facility on a daily basis, according to testimony at the public hearing that was held before the appeals board June 28.

It could take six months for the project to win approval of state and county agencies.

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