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A story in the Jan. 6 edition of the Tallmadge Express reported the Planning & Zoning Commission recommended to City Council that it approve a new schematic plan for senior apartments on Colony Park Drive. This past week the proposal was brought before City Council. Here are more details about the developer's proposal and how the community is receiving it:
Tallmadge -- City Council is considering allowing a developer to build a multi-story apartment building for seniors at 580 Colony Park Drive, instead of a previous developer's plan to build five, eight-unit apartment buildings on the site.
During a meeting Jan. 3, the Planning & Zoning Commission voted to recommend to Council that it approve the new schematic plan, which is less detailed than a site plan.
A public hearing before Council, which makes the ultimate decision whether to approve the schematic plan, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 24.
Council approved the original developer's site plan in 2000. Only one of the buildings was constructed, which is at 550 Colony Park Drive.
LW Construction Services, of Ashville near Columbus, is proposing to create "Tallmadge Senior Village," a multi-story facility with 40 rental units, near the corner of Colony Park Drive and Eastwood Avenue.
The density of the property that's zoned R-5 will not change.
LW Construction Services is applying for the same federal senior tax credits as is the Testa Companies for its proposed city center complex project.
If the tax credits are awarded, LW Construction Services will come before the Commission and Council again with a more detailed site plan. If the site plan is approved, construction would begin late this year or early 2014.
Focus on seniors
John LeValley, part of the development team for Tallmadge Senior Village, said the previous footprint didn't accommodate the needs of seniors, but the proposed does.
The facility will target seniors 55 years of age and older. The average rent for the 905-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom units is expected to be between $550 to $600.
The energy-efficient units would be accessed by an elevator instead of stairs and would have open floor plans.
"For seniors, it's very important to have zero thresholds, no steps, access from parking to the common areas, the elevators, to their units," said Todd Valentine, development director for LW Construction Services.
Parking areas on both sides of the building have a total of 100 parking spaces and a covered pickup/dropoff area for residents at the front entrance.
The facility's amenities include a large indoor community area for meetings, events and activities, a shelter house with picnic tables and a propane grill, a 5,000-square-foot, fenced dog park with walking paths for residents and a community garden.
Support for proposal
Christine Cox, president of the homeowners' association for nearby The Villas at Waterford Crossing, said she supports the proposal.
"Given the alternatives for that lot, I think it's a welcome addition over there," she said. "That lot is an eyesore ... I'm excited about this development. It looks nice."
She said the developer of Waterford Crossing hasn't finished building the homes that were proposed for the neighborhood, and some development activity nearby may attract another developer's attention and entice it to finish her development.