PIQUA — Garbry Ridge Assisted Living is continuing its expansion, presenting plans to build four new cottages to the Piqua Planning Commission during its meeting on Tuesday.
The Planning Commission gave its approval of the second phase of the Garbry Ridge cottages planned unit development, part of the Garbry Ridge’s memory care expansion that was first presented to the city last year. Since then, Garbry Ridge has expanded its current assisted living facility, as well as constructed three independent senior living cottages. Garbry Ridge broke ground on phase one of its expansion in July 2018 and officially finished the first phase of the project in October of this year.
Now, phase two will include the construction of four more cottages, along with the associated utilities and roadways.
Revis Nickles, vice president of Development & Properties at HCF Management, Inc., which owns Garbry Ridge, said the expansion is due to the community support and the community’s need for the cottages.
“We had great results from the community,” Nickles said. He said Garbry Ridge already had occupants in line for the first three cottages before they were built, and they have since started taking inquiries for these future cottages. If the demand continues, Nickles said they could build up to approximately 15 cottages, but they are doing the expansion in phases so as not to exceed the demand and to avoid units sitting empty.
“They are the same identical units,” Nickles said, explaining the four new cottages will be the same as the current three cottages they just built. “We want to fill the demand of the community.” He said they want “to help the elderly population start the transition to downsizing” with these independent living cottages.
“They are very impressive,” Jim Oda, chairman of the Planning Commission, said. He also called the cottages a “tremendous plus” for the community to have.
The Garbry Ridge property, located at 1567 Garbry Road in Piqua, includes 28 acres within city limits that also run alongside the Ohio to Indiana trail system. A long-term goal discussed last year includes an eventual replacement building for their long-term care facility Piqua Manor, potentially bringing it on-site to Garbry Ridge.
Also during the Planning Commission’s meeting, it approved the annexation and zoning designation of open space for 81 acres of the AMP solar field located off of Manier and McKinley avenues by a vote of 4-1. Planning Commission member Joe Wilson voted against the resolution after discussing the possibility of a different zoning designation for the site.
The AMP solar field located off of Manier and McKinley avenues is approximately 86 acres in total, with the 81 being annexed into the city from the unincorporated territory in the county. The city’s portion of the site was already zoned for open space.
Wilson said, due to the solar field being used as “essentially a public utility,” it should be zoned under one of the residential zoning classifications due to public utilities being listed under those classifications. City Planner Kyrsten French said the open space classification was sought by the applicant and included “essential services” under the uses that fall under the open space classification. French said utilities are part of the definition for “essential services.” French also added that, due to the limitations of the open space zoning classification, if the use of the site would ever need to change, it would likely need to come before the Planning Commission again for approval.
“If it ever changes, you’ll see it again,” French said.
The resolution was later approved by a majority vote after it was amended due to a clerical error regarding the parcel number of the site.
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