Carroll Lutheran expansion OK'd

City gives go-ahead to $50 million project

September 11, 2001|By Maria Blackburn | Maria Blackburn,SUN STAFF

Westminster's mayor and Common Council approved plans for a $50 million expansion of Carroll Lutheran Village last night, opening the door for the retirement community to nearly double its number of residents to 900 and to hire 150 additional employees.

The facility - which offers skilled nursing, assisted living, and independent living in apartments and cottages - has slightly fewer than 500 residents and about 350 employees. It also has a list of more than 200 people who are waiting for independent-living accommodations, according to Geary K. Milliken, president and chief executive officer.

"There's just not enough room here to serve people who want to be part of us," Milliken said yesterday before the council meeting. "The baby boomers are coming, and they're going to come in grand fashion and with a lot of people. We need to create lifestyle choices for them."

The expansion plan includes a putting green and tennis courts, a commons area featuring a restaurant and a 24,000- square-foot wellness and welcome center with a swimming pool designed for seniors, a fitness center and a day care center for the children of employees. In addition, the 2-decade-old retirement community wants to add 90 cottages complete with front porches and garages, 84 apartment units, a 64-unit catered-living building and 60 additional skilled-nursing/assisted-living units.

The plan was recommended for approval by Westminster's Planning and Zoning Commission last month.

Last night's public hearing on the plan drew little comment and the proposal was approved by four members of the five-member council. Councilman Roy L. Chiavacci, a Carroll Lutheran Village vice president, recused himself.

"Certainly there's a tremendous need for the services they offer in our community," Councilman L. Gregory Pecoraro said of Carroll Lutheran Village. His father, Louis Pecoraro, had been a resident there. "They are enormously well-respected for the job that they do."

After further design work and approval by its board of trustees, Carroll Lutheran Village could begin work on the expansion by spring 2003, Milliken said.

Also last night, the council approved the Carroll County Historical Society's application for a state tax credit program to assist with the expansion of the nonprofit organization's campus on East Main Street.

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