Monday, October 01, 2001

Site may be rezoned for seniors' care

By Angela T. Koenig
Enquirer Contributor

        Pending a zone change, the site of the former St. George Hospital and Care Unit — is marked for demolition and development into a privately owned nursing care and seniors' campus.

        “It's a project which services the community it is in; our intent is to become part of the neighborhood,” said the principal architect, Larry Norris.

        The development proposal for about 11 acres at 3156 Glenmore Avenue, is now before the Cincinnati Planning Commission.

        It includes 104 apartments, 74 assisted living rooms, 50 regular nursing beds, 40 beds for the memory-impaired, and a child care center, said city planner Ed Mangold.

        Mr. Mangold said the property is zoned (institutional residential) for use by hospitals and universities. The developer, Glenmore Partners, LLC., is seeking a change to allow for single-family units.

        The Westwood Civic Association has given approval, said president Barry Wood.

        “I don't remember hearing anyone express any opposition,” he said.

        Some concerns, however, were raised at a recent meeting of Westwood Concern, a local citizens' group that has become a watchdog of the neighborhood's future.

        At the meeting, questions arose as to whether the zone change could place controls on the apartments to restrict usage to seniors only.

        Officials say no, but point out that some of the design elements — such as wide doors for wheelchair access, safety bars throughout living areas — won'tlikely to attract the average renter.

        “It's a specialty market that has requirements that are not normally marketable,” said Mr. Norris.

        Some units, though, will be commercial, for “a younger family member might want to be on the campus to help their parents.”

        Any zone change decision, Mr. Mangold said, “is subject to the approval of a total development plan,” down to the placement of driveways and landscaping. Any future major deviations would be subject to review.

        The planning commission, which recommends to city council, could hear the request as early as Oct. 19.


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