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Southwest Orange Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 3 years ago

Developer seeks to replace townhome proposal with assisted-living facility

A community meeting was held on Monday, Sept. 25, for local residents to voice their concerns about the change
by: Brittany Gaines Reporter

HORIZON WEST A proposed zoning change to a 6.55-acre plot of land along Seidel Road was met with opposition during a recent community meeting.

The parcel of land, located just south of the Summerlake Park Boulevard and Seidel Road intersection in Horizon West, currently is in the process of being developed into 19 townhouses. However, the developer, Park Square Homes, recently requested for a change of zoning to allow for the creation of a 75-bed assisted-living facility in place of the townhouses.

To allow for community input on the proposed change, a meeting was held on Monday, Sept. 25, to discuss whether adding an assisted-living facility would be beneficial for the surrounding communities. 

“The concept is aging in place,” said Jim Hall, director of planning and design studios with VHB who was representing Park Square Homes during the meeting.

For most of the area residents who attended the meeting, changing the development from town homes to an assisted-living facility would be less than ideal.

“Property values - that’s all I care about,” said Tom Culp, who lives in an adjacent neighborhood to the proposed development. “I know there’s no guarantees in life, but because (Horizon West) a planned community, I want (my property values) to keep going up.”

Culp’s concerns were voiced by several other area residents, several of whom claimed that adding an assisted-living facility would negatively impact property values.

Resident Eric Wichhart also was concerned about safety and noise.

“I don’t really want to wake up to the beep, beep, beep of (delivery) trucks every morning,” he said.

According to Hall, noise concerns would be taken into consideration with the possibility of putting loading docks and dumpsters in unobtrusive areas.

Residents also inquired whether the assisted-living facility would create traffic increases. Hall said that the facility would follow the same traffic guidelines as the proposed townhouses with an estimated 150 vehicles coming and going to the facility on a daily basis. 

“The traffic, based on county standards, will be the same as 19 townhomes,” he said.

In addition to following the existing traffic regulations, Hall said the development would adhere to all the building guidelines that currently are in place for the townhouses, including set backs from the nearby lake and wetlands and a building height of 35 feet. 

According to District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey, the proposed change has several more steps to go through before reaching the Board of County Commissioners, a process that will likely take between two and three months.

“It’s an application,” she said. “That just means that somebody is asking, not that it’s a done deal. There’s a lot of unknowns because it’s conceptual at this time.”

If the proposed change is not approved, the developer will continue with its plans to build the 19 townhomes.

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