Residential development tentatively approved near Beechwood Farms |
Valley News Dispatch

Residential development tentatively approved near Beechwood Farms


Indiana Township supervisors on Tuesday night tentatively approved The Waters, a planned residential development (PRD) less than a half-mile west of Fairview Elementary School on Dorseyville Road.

By a 3-2 vote, the board gave first-round approval of The Waters Senior Living Holdings, with the stipulation that additional traffic/parking studies can be mandated if necessary.

The multi-family housing development will include one three-story building with 179 units and 14 ‘cottages,’ each with two units.

The 23-acre site, just down the road from Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve, will also include a memory-care unit.

Development spokesman Kevin McKeegan said the project may offer assisted living or other senior services as well.

The state requires licensing for many of these services.

Supervisors Paul Jorgensen and Dan Taylor voted against the proposal.

Jorgensen said he was concerned the PRD moniker was a “backdoor” to getting approval for the plan.

Taylor agreed, saying his understanding of PRD regulations is planning for family homes.

He argued these are not individual residences. Some of the units in the 40.5-foot-tall building will have kitchenettes designed for snacking or room service but residents will go to a communal dining room.

He also argued that personal care homes are a permitted use in the township’s commercial district and that PRD’s are for residential buildings, as the name implies.

Letting a commercial or industrial use in a PRD zone would set a precedent that would “open the door in the future,” Taylor said.

He was concerned about the height of the large building which will have multiple wings.

Taylor, who represents District 4 near Middle Road, said the three-story building should “harmonize” with surroundings but that The Waters will be surrounded by single-family dwellings primarily.

Developers said they plan to increase the project buffer zone from the required 25 feet to 75 feet.

They will have rain gardens and six water detention facilities, and a walking trail will be retained.

Eleven trees will be cut and 470 replanted.

About eight audience members were there during the discussions and vote. No one spoke publicly for or against the construction.

Plans call for maintaining trails used by visitors of nearby Beechwood Farms and developers said they would offer parking places near their entrance for the nature

reserve’s overflow.

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