Representatives from a company that builds assisted living units have revised their proposal to build a facility at the United Methodist Church property in Pleasantville.
In a letter to the Village Board last week, Jerry Liang, senior vice president of investments and development for Sunrise Senior Living, stated that significant changes were made to the proposal following comments made by community members and officials in June.
The new proposal reduces the size of the project to 55 units that provides only memory care. The original proposal requested the three-story structure be built into the elevation of the site to appear smaller, Sunrise is now proposing a two-story building.
“While it would be a departure from Sunrise’s new development prototype, we have two other existing Sunrises in the U.S. designed this way,” Liang stated in his correspondence. “This new plan will reduce the impacts on the surrounding areas, while serving a specialized need in Pleasantville; one that is difficult to care for through your existing services.”
Liang added that the revised plan would require less parking, have fewer impacts and likely result in lower tax revenues than the previous proposal.
Sunrise had initially requested a zoning change from the Village Board to add a new floating overlay district, which was needed before it could pursue site plan approval from the Planning Commission. The proposal would have accommodated about 90 residents, and the site would have contained 40 parking spots, including two handicapped accessible spaces.
During the public hearing in June, residents from Maple Hill Road and other neighbors in the vicinity of the site opposed the zoning change and urged the board to oppose the Sunrise petition. Four of the five village board members indicated they believe the location was inappropriate for the project.
Maple Hill resident Bill Stoller said that while the new project is different from the previous proposal, he’s still against having a commercial facility in a residential area.
“We don’t find it any more appealing than their previous proposal,” he said.
While Liang hopes to come to an agreement with the board, Mayor Peter Scherer, who has been vehemently opposed to the previous plans, said the next step for the village would be to hold a work session with Liang to discuss the new project.
“They’re clearly proposing something significantly different,” Scherer said. “We have an obligation to look at what that might be like before Sunrise spends a tremendous amount of time and money further developing this.”