Op-Ed Proposed Rochester Hills Memory Care Facility

Please Note: The article below is an opinion expressed by Rochester Hills resident Scot Beaton and in no way constitutes an endorsement by Rochester Media.

City Council Regular Meeting:  12/8/2014 at 7 p.m.

Memory Care facility proposed for South Blvd. Rochester Hills

Agenda item 2013-0360

“Acceptance for First Reading – An Amendment to Chapter 138 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Rochester Hills to rezone a parcel of land totaling approximately 1.36 acres, located at 880 South Boulevard, east of Livernois, Parcel No. 15-34-352-013, from R-2 One-Family Residential to R-2, One-Family Residential with an FB-1, Flexible Business Overlay, AGE of Rochester Hills, Inc., applicant…” ~Rochester Hills 

“Accept for First Reading the request to rezone a parcel of land near the northeast corner of Livernois and South Boulevard totaling approximately 1.36 acres from R-2, One-Family Residential to R-2, One Family Residential with FB-1, Flexible Business Overlay. The applicant intends to use the site for senior housing.” ~Rochester Hills 

I did not support the original rezoning request. This request is for even more land next door to the original rezone. I did not support the granting of the destruction of a City Historic Resource at the original proposed location.

I did not support the original rezoning request. The City already has a lot of acreage available for FB-1, Flexible Business Overlay. We don’t need anymore. Fire/EMS services Rochester Hills are having difficulty already handling this additional load on their capabilities to service the Residents and existing Business community.

I did not support the original rezoning request. Why are we still doing this? I support Planning Commissioner Mr. Reece 100 percent; we must look at all uses this rezone would allow and not a specific use! “Mr. Reece acknowledged that they were not supposed to talk about a proposed development, but he wondered what the applicant had done to try to make the proposed building fit on the site as it was. He questioned whether the Commission would be setting a precedent for people who wanted to develop but did not have enough room and then wanted to buy another piece of property and ask for the zoning to be changed. He realized it was an overlay, but if he were a nearby resident, he would be concerned about that kind of discussion.” Mr. Reece voted NO. Note: The rezone would allow a drive-through restaurant as a conditional use.

I did not support the original rezoning request. I can’t find anything about this company except this on the Internet. Do they have a track record of being in this business? As far as I can find out… nothing. And their business address is some obscure looking, poorly landscaped small industrial building at 1245 E. Grand Blanc Rd.

AGE OF ROCHESTER HILLS INC.

Status Active

Incorporation Date: 19th November 2013 (about 1 year ago)

Company Type: Domestic Profit Corporation

Jurisdiction: Michigan (US)

Registered Address: 1245 E GRAND BLANC RD GRAND BLANC   MI  48439 United States

The Pines Environmental Impact Statement is provided by the applicant. Is this not “like a fox guarding the hen house?” Environmental Impact Statement should only have any merit if it is done by an outside non-bias consultant, hired by the City, and paid for by the applicant. That is what other communities do like Birmingham, MI. I personally read their planning commission packets for fun.

Important information left out of the “Impact Statement”: impact on Fire/EMS services Rochester Hills and the effect on residential property values on W. South Blvd. Donaldson Ave. Grace Ave., just to name two.

I do not support the plan. A 24 to 26-room assisted living home facility and a separate 26 to 32-room memory care facility for residents suffering from various degrees of dementia is a too intense use for this area and the land should remain single family residential. A good compromise would be the two new residential homes built on Rochester Rd., just south of Hamlin Rd.; Boyken Rd. on the west side of street.

I don’t buy the comments from the applicant — one-on-one with the residents in the area. What did the applicant tell them? Because I personally talked to a lot of them in the area and they don’t want a mental institution in their backyard and that is what memory care is. Alzheimer’s disease can turn the affected into a violent person who will have to be heavily sedated. They will also have to be locked inside all time at this facility or supervised outside or they will wander off into the existing neighborhood.

Question for City Council:

  • Did you spend the time to look at other Pines developments? The Pines in Clarkston, MI Memory Care is not an attractive residential building. Not even close to the high standards we hold in Rochester Hills; and Clarkston is an upscale community.
  • How many patients per room?
  • Why does our planning department want the parking and fire trucks in the back of the building close to the residential backyards? Would it not be a better plan to have all the noise and emergency lights in the front yard and use the buildings to screen that use from the residents?

A personal note: I do understand the need for this industry; Alzheimer’s disease killed a member of my immediate family last year. Lucky for us he never turned violent and was a brilliant man; an Emergency Room surgeon in the Henry Ford Hospital System. He worked most of his career in Detroit stitching back together those involved in violent crimes like a gunshot wound.

I do understand the need for this industry, but feel it’s just not a good use in this residential part of town.

PS: Rochester Hills mayoral candidate Ravi Yalamanchi voted YES to let the applicant tear down the registered with the city Historic Home; and YES and for the Memory Care facility. Looks like he has no concern for residential property values or protecting our city’s heritage.

 

 

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