Bosque Farms village council approves permit for assisted living facility

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On an unanimous vote, Bosque Farms village councilors approved a special use permit for an assisted living community on Bosque Farms Boulevard last month. The three-unit facility will be a Bee Hive Homes franchise.

The permit was requested by Kathy and Henry Holmes. Henry Holmes, a registered nurse of 17 years, will manage the homes.

The homes, which will house up to 15 seniors each, are slated for construction on the corner of Los Pinos Drive and the boulevard, if the applicants clear a few more zoning hurdles, namely the design review and a lot split for financing purposes.

Village Planning and Zoning Administrator and Officer Loretta Hatch told the councilors the request for a special use permit in the commercial zone was unanimously recommended for approval by the planning and zoning commission.

"They did want you to think about a couple of considerations — lot size and parking," Hatch said.

Hatch said assisted living was a permitted use on a commercially zoned piece of property, with a special use permit.

"This being said, it is a commercial piece of property. As far as lot size is concerned, the minimum requirement for a commercial lot is a quarter of an acre," she said. "There was a little bit of wondering (by the planning and zoning commission) if the lot sizes are big enough. In my opinion, they are big enough."

Hatch said since the activity was permitted and needed a minimum of a quarter of an acre, the 1.6 acre parcel was large enough.

In regards to parking for the facility, Hatch said the village ordinances didn't contain any language specific to an assisted living facility. The closest type of facilities were hospitals, clinics and nursing homes, she said.

"And a nursing home is very different from an assisted living community," Hatch said. "Our ordinance says one parking spot per bed."

The completed facility would have 45 residents, necessitating 45 parking spots, if the council applied the ordinance strictly.

"The ordinance does say that supplemental regulations and special conditions may be imposed upon recommendation of the planning and zoning commission," Hatch said. "My interpretations is that you folks have authority to decide on any special requirements or conditions on the special use permit."

In her research on Bee Hive Homes, Hatch said of the 19 homes throughout the country, the ratio was one parking space for every two residents.

Holmes said the residents in the homes would not be bringing their vehicles.

"They don't drive anymore, so the parking is for visitors, which, sadly, are very few in number," he said.

Mayor Bob Knowlton asked if the planning and zoning commissioners had any conditions they wanted to place on the special use permit.

Hatch said they just wanted the councilors to be aware and give consideration to the lot size and parking situation.

"In my opinion, the lot size is not an issue. The parking is the thing," she said. "The closest thing we have in our ordinance requires one space per bed."

Holmes went to planning and zoning again on April 1 for a minor subdivision.

The property is currently two separate lots that Holmes asked be divided into three for financing purposes. After building is completed, Hatch said the lot lines would be vacated and the property would become one contiguous parcel.

Holmes said he anticipated the three homes to be completed in five years, but with the current demand he is getting, they may be done in as little as three years.

He said he is also anticipating offering adult day care services at the facility. To do that, a certified nursing assistant would need to be on the premises, with those in the day care, at all times, Holmes said.

The homes would have a large activity center, with activities going on throughout most of the day. Meals would also be provided on site.

All three houses would be staffed 24-hours a day.

The planning and zoning commission recommended approval of the subdivision to the village council on a 5-0 vote.


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.