Senior housing project gets OK

Approval of rezoning of Ellicott City site sets stage for rest of process

May 19, 2006|BY A SUN REPORTER

Groundbreaking could take place in two years on a multimillion-dollar senior housing and care development in Ellicott City now that the county's Zoning Board has approved rezoning of the site to permit the project.

The proposed Lutheran Village at Miller's Grant senior housing project would include 299 residential units, including 36 single-family detached homes, 48 townhouses and 200 apartments.

The $100 million development, on Frederick Road adjacent to the Charles E. Miller branch library and a county senior center, would also provide assisted living and skilled nursing services.

And while two years might seem far off, it's a tick of the second hand to Geary K. Milliken "This has been a dream for 25 years," he said. "Now, we're close."

Milliken is leading the effort to build the senior community - not unlike the one he presides over as president and chief executive officer in Westminster.

If the company decides to sell the property to a developer, DeGeorge said, there would be covenants to assure that the homes are designed to be compatible with the Terra Maria subdivision.

Paul Miller has donated the land, which is why the development will be christened Miller's Grant.

Milliken said the Ellicott City operation would be similar to the one in Westminster, which was opened 25 years ago.

Residents select their units but do not own them. They pay entrance and monthly fees, depending on the care they require. The fees help cover services such as meals, trash and snow removal, utilities, membership in the fitness center and appliance repair or replacement.

The entrance fees range from about $50,000 to more than $400,000. Most residents have chosen an eight-year plan, after which they pay no rent, Milliken said.

In discussion of the project before the Planning Board, Milliken had said it would be designed for residents who eventually would need to move from independent quarters to assisted care.

A feasibility study must be completed before financing can be obtained, and the project is subject to state and county oversight. Those are expected to take six months to two years, Milliken said.

In other business Wednesday, the Zoning Board freed a small, but long-orphaned, parcel in the neotraditional Terra Maria subdivision in Ellicott City. The parcel, although only 1.1 acres, had stirred concern among residents over how it might be developed.

Tony DeGeorge, a principal of Old Frederick Road Real Estate Holdings, LLC, which owns the property, said a community pool and clubhouse would be constructed, or four homes.

The pool seems less likely, he said, because a membership drive has not produced the hoped-for results.

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