Elderly Home Reconsidered
July 1, 2011
Beehive Homes heard another round of residents’ concerns over the proposed elderly living facility in Park Ridge Estates at the Summit County Council meeting on Wednesday and was told its plans were going to be reviewed further by the council despite a prior approval.
The county council held the open session to possibly reconsider their previous approval of Beehive Homes’ assisted-living facility. The council also had an outside lawyer, Andrew Morse, assess their decision to make sure it had adhered to state laws.
In a letter, Morse declared the council’s decision "the only legal course available." Morse’s letter went on to say that the council "acted squarely within the four corners of the law in reversing the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission [ruling]."
Despite the legal confirmation, the council listened to input from the neighbors of the project. Many expressed concerns with the size of the building (about 8,000 square feet), while others objected to the lack of concrete plans dealing with construction, snow removal and the viability of the project.
"Synderville Basin Planning Commission said no for a good reason," said Bill Hartley, a resident of Park Ridge Estates. "Is this project viable? Despite it being labeled a single-family residence, it’s not like a neighbor moving in; it’s a business, moving in to make money."
Owners and a lawyer from Beehive Homes addressed residents’ concerns over the financial viability of the facility, saying that while one or two independent operators of their homes have encountered financial troubles in the past, the Beehive Homes franchise has always stepped in and bought back the facilities.
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The council also assured residents that if this particular home did not make it financially, it could not automatically be used as another group home such as a halfway house or rehab center.
Council member John Hanrahan said he supports the council reconsidering the approval to allow the project to be vetted fully.
"It’s not because I want to vote against it, but I believe the proposal was given a lack of consideration," said Hanrahan.
County Council Chair Chris Robinson asked to see detailed site plans before making up his mind while council member David Ure said they should take the advice of the lawyers and allow the facility to be built.
No decision was reached by the council on whether to withdraw their approval of the facility, but another hearing is scheduled for July 13 when the council will further discuss the site plans and possibly withdraw their approval of the Beehive Homes facility.