Senior living center making height an issue

BEAVERCREEK — Granger Senior Living of Michigan has an interest in bringing their innovated ideas to senior living to the Beavercreek area.

Beavercreek City Council approved the first reading of the assisted and independent living community’s application to rezone and approved their concept plans, during a public hearing for property located at the intersection of Kemp Road and North Fairfield roads.

“Our first and main goal is to use state-of-the-art technology, reinvent senior living as a lifestyle, foster human connection to change the lives of your our residents and be the place future generations want to go,” Granger Senior Living Representative Dan Colella said. “The facility will provide two levels of service which are assisted living and memory care.”

The anticipated three -story senior living center has been shown to be a benefit to the city as opposed to another office building, shopping center or housing development. Not only will it contribute property tax revenue to the city but also provide limited additional traffic to the area since many residences will not be driving. It is also anticipated that visitors of the senior center will also patron Beavercreek businesses. The senior center will also have on-sight management to keep the building and the grounds in top condition. The height is a concern for the proposed living center.

The property in question had been held in a long lawsuit by the citizens of Beavercreek regarding an issue that began in 1997 and a grocery store that wanted to build on this site. After a lengthy mediation with the neighborhood adjoining the property, the city, the grocery store applicant and the judge, the 2000 City Council approved an Ordinance with conditions. One of the conditions is that any building that was constructed on the property would not exceed 33 feet. The senior center is proposing a building that is 39 feet. Some residents are standing firm with the agreement they had with the 2000 City Council. But, the applicant feels they can address the height issue with a tree barrier, while others disagree.

The applicant proposed planting eight foot evergreens at the back of the property that butts up to the neighboring housing development so not to be seen from the backyards of the current residents. The trees are expected to grow to approximately 39 feet and 2 inches.

“We feel comfortable that the evergreen plantings on top of the berm they are proposing will do the job of concealing the building,” Colella said.

The city encouraged the applicant to meet with neighbors and try to mediate disagreements. The neighbors would like to see the building as a two-story structure instead of three, putting it within the height restrictions. The applicant will not compromise from the size of the building because it has to be financially feasible for their business. They looked into moving the structure further away from the mound but it becomes very challenging and would bring about additional costs of approximately $500,000.

“I feel this is a great development for Beavercreek and a great use of the property. The Granger Group and Jason Granger seem to be a gentleman, which is much different than what we had to work with regarding this development before. I think it’s a good company to do this, but there is only one problem and that’s height,” Beavercreek resident, Bob Gobble of El Cid Drive said. “The height goes against the agreement and I don’t know what you’re going to do about it. When we agreed to accept 33 feet, we did it in good faith even though it was higher than we wanted.”

Other than an attempt to hide the facility from sight of the neighboring community by building a bigger mound, Granger Group is not willing to change the size of the building. It’s their trademark building and for financial reasons, they need to stay with the floor plan. Because of the change from the original issue and purpose of the land when the case initially went to court, the senior living center and the height issue will have to be decided by Federal court. In the meantime, the city council approved the applicants request for rezoning and the first reading of the concept plans.