Mercer zoning board OKs assisted-living center plan

July 07, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - A 42-bed assisted living center is one step closer to reality after the site development plan was given an OK by the Greater Harrodsburg/Mercer County Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night.

"We hope to have occupants going in by this time next summer," said Michael Conover, the developer of the center. "The zoning board has helped us move it along." He said the center will be much like the McDowell Place assisted living center in Danville.

The building, which will include five different room types, will be built on a 55-acre plot of land at the east end of Henrico Road and the south end of Fairview Court. In a telephone interview, Conover said it will be behind Golden Coral restaurant and will be convenient to Kroger and Walmart, which are south of the proposed center.

The center will have a cafeteria, and some of the beds will be dedicated to Alzheimer's Disease patients. Conover said within a year of completion of the main center, he hopes a dementia facility will be added. While not detailed in the development plan, Conover said he foresees the area around the assisted-living center being developed into single-family houses and duplexes for elderly residents.


He told the members of the planning board that he will come back with those plans after the assisted living center gets approval and gets under way. He said the cafeteria will be available not just to the occupants of the center but to those living in the homes and duplexes on the campus.

"Developers will be invited to come in and do compatible geriatric facilities," he said. The total development or campus will be tied together not only by roads but by golf cart and walking paths and golf carts which occupants can use to go to the stores in the shopping center and to James B. Haggin Memorial Hospital, which is nearby.

In discussing the development with members of the planning panel, Conover said the number of parking places needed for such facilities are set by local regulations. He said most have one parking space per two beds. He said the plans he presented to the commission have almost one space per bed.

Similar facility being developed in Winchester

Conover said there is a similar facility being developed in Winchester. "There are a lot of different ways to make geriatric housing available," he said. "We will try to put together a campus that has a lot of geriatric activities."

The center will not have an area for intensive or nursing-home type care. Conover said Harrodsburg seems to have an adequate number of such rooms, including those at the hospital, and to build any such rooms would require a certificate of need.

Conover is planning the center in conjunction with Bluegrass Assisted Living, which has built four other such locations, including those in Shelbyville, Bardstown and Carrollton.

"We selected this developer because of their track record," Conover said. "Their facilities have more reasonable pricing. We thought it was important for Harrodsburg to have more affordable prices." He said he will not be the owner of the center, but rather plans to put together what he called and investment entity to own the property.

He thinks the center and the land around it will be pleasant to the eye. There is a wooded area on the 55-acre tract. "It's going to be just beautiful," he said.

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