Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 16:51
Neighbors raise concerns about project’s impact, but panel wants information about state regulations
Comments made during a public hearing Monday convinced the Village of Fredonia Plan Commission not to rush into a decision on a conditional-use permit for a 20-bed assisted-living facility proposed for the Village Green subdivision.
The Forest Haven assisted-living facility is proposed for 400 Martin Dr., an outlot of the subdivision which is zoned for duplex use. It would be operated by L.M. Consulting.
The company has developed facilities in 10 communities, including Port Washington and Belgium. The single-story wood frame building would have a brick and siding exterior and two entry drives off Martin Drive.
At full capacity, the business would have 15 employees.
During the hearing, several residents asked whether the RD-1 zoning allows assisted-living facilities. Public Works Director Roger Strohm said the project would fit under the exemption for community facilities.
Martin Drive resident Paul Krause said he is concerned about the long-term future of the building with duplex zoning, as opposed to what he called the more appropriate multifamily zoning.
“If this facility ever goes under, it would remain vacant forever. It would never be converted into a duplex,” Krause said.
Mary Renzaglia, of L.M. Consulting, said with the state’s emphasis on placing the elderly and people with disabilities in community settings, it is hard to imagine any of her facilities closing.
Other residents asked if the village would exceed state density limits on the number of assisted-living beds if the project is approved.
Additional concerns were raised about the number of sirens and emergency vehicles that would be coming and going to the facility to meet the medical needs of the residents, and the risk that traffic might pose to children walking to and from the nearby Northern Ozaukee schools.
“I worked all my life to buy a home, and we chose to come to Fredonia,” Eileen Peterson, a new Martin Drive resident, said. “You can imagine how surprised I was to hear about this facility.”
Commission members said they were concerned the questions raised by neighbors couldn’t be answered, especially regarding state restrictions.
“I don’t know what rules we are playing by,” commission member John Long said.
With that uncertainty, the commission voted to table action on the conditional-use permit until more information can be gathered on governing assisted-living facilities.