Concerns raised about proposed Poland senior independent living - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Concerns raised about proposed Poland senior independent living facility

POLAND, Ohio- A proposal for a senior independent living facility in Poland, is raising questions within the community.  Concerns were raised as the board of zoning appeals considered the developer's application for exceptions, when it comes to specifications of the building.

The trees on Route 224 in Poland next to the Post Office could some day be the site of a senior independent living facility, if Cincinnati based developer, Miller Valentine, has its way.

Peter Schwiegeraht, Miller Valentine Group developer, said "it will build 51 senior independent living units.  Those units will be age restricted 55 plus."

But the proposal is coming with opposition from the community about issues like increased traffic and density of the building.

"We may think that we are becoming a dense and intense built center of a community but I'm not sure the residents of the village are seeing themselves in the density that is 26 units an acre," said Rebecca Rogers, a member of the planning commission and architectural review board.

It would take up 19,000 square feet and be 45 feet high, which is above the limit of 8,000 square feet and 35 feet high for the zoning of the property.  So the developer is asking for two variances.

The board did not make a decision on the variances Thursday night but will schedule a meeting to do so within 30 days.

The residents of the facility would be required to make under 60% of the Area Median Income, which is around $30,000 and less a year.

The developer is planning to apply for federal housing tax credit money to build the facility but he reiterated this is not part of HUD funding or Section 8 and that it would be senior living for 30 years.

He believes the senior living could be enforced by council after 30 years if they voted to do it, but they would need to talk to their attorney.  Some residents and board members, including a retired lawyer, question that.

"After thirty years when this income standard evaporates it will become Section 8 housing and that isn't necessarily relevant to the narrow issue that you have here tonight but it is important in terms of wehther or not the community wants to support this," said retired attorney David Comstock.

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