Plans for a 32-unit facility presented to Planning Commission
By Margo Frink
(Oneida, NY – Oct. 2012) Bryan Ehlinger, long-term care administrator at Oneida Healthcare and Susan Bacon Kimmel, president of Two Plus Four Companies presented to the Oneida Planning Commission the hospitals newest expansion proposal at its meeting Oct. 18.
As a partnership, Oneida Healthcare and Two Plus Four plan a 32-unit senior housing facility on the hospital’s property behind the Oneida YMCA, or Lot 1. The housing facility will not be subsidized housing, but rather low-income. Income restrictions for a single person is $28,020 a year and for double occupancy, $31,980 a year. Plans are to construct 28 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units. Residents must be 55 years of age or older.
Ehlinger said state laws have changed whereas the hospital could be fined for not discharging residents.
“We want a place to discharge them to,” Ehlinger said. He said when patients are discharged from the Extended Care Facility many have no money or a place to go.
The process is called, “Age in Place” and the facilities such as the one proposed is considered an ADL or “Activities of Daily Living.”
It’s not an assisted living facility, but Independent Affordable Housing, according to Kimmel. A market studied showed 56 units of this kind were needed in the area.
“There is a void between a full-out nursing home and living at home,” Kimmel said.
Kimmel said the goal was present the concept to the commission and answer any questions. A formal application will be presented Nov. 1. The agency needs to apply to the state by the end of the year.
“This is the first step toward Medicaid reform,” Kimmel said. “Medicaid reform is big with the government right now and this is the first model toward that.”
Kimmel said a three-lot subdivision will be applied for. The entrance is planned at Seneca Street but the idea is to extend the road out to Fairview Avenue. Cassie Rose, director of the city’s planning department said the intention is to dedicate it as a city street.
The construction is a green building initiative utilizing version three of Energy Star status, Kimmel said. A pre-application meeting was held with the city engineer and as a result some modifications to the plan need to be done.
The commission had questions such as the addition of sidewalks out to Seneca Street or if a bus shelter could be considered in the construction and possible water run-off issues.
Kimmel said she was not an expert on bio-detention swales but it was discussed with their engineers and they are working with the city’s engineer. All the commission’s concerns can be discussed in the plans Kimmel said.
“This is great for us because we want to get the best product out there to show the state of New York,” Kimmel said.
The partnership will seek funding from the New York State Housing Trust Funds, a 1 percent interest loan and through federal tax credits.
The state sets the guidelines on square footage of each unit, Kimmel said. The one bedroom units will be 750 square feet and the two bedroom units will be 825 square feet. A kitchen/dining room combination lay-out, bedroom and bath complete the units. All will have the capability to be handicapped and wheelchair accessible. Bathrooms will have pull cords. A site manager will be on the premises and can reach out to the hospital if need be. There will also be a large community room and will be made accessible for agencies such as the Red Cross to hold blood drives or other activities for the tenants. A patio with overhang and seating area will be built in the back of the building.
The rent for the one-bedroom unit will be $475 a month and $525 a month for the two-bedroom and includes heat and hot water. Kimmel said monthly utilities will run between $34 and $38 a month.
Talks for future plans on the other two lots are constructing assisted living facilities.
In Other Business
Per request of the applicant, the sketch plat approval, preliminary plat waiver and final plat approval for a two-lot minor subdivision located at 240 Genesee St, zoned light industrial by Robert Welton was tabled.
Also tabled was the site plan review and conditional use permit for the construction of a Tim Horton restaurant at 240 Genesee St., zoned light industrial by Tim Donut U.S. Limited Inc.
A positive referral for the Zoning Board of Appeals was agreed upon providing an actual location is provided for a six-foot height variance to construct a pole barn at a parcel surrounding 2266 Upper Lenox Avenue zoned A by Alvin Beecher.
A motion was made and approved for a positive referral for a rear yard variance only for the construction of a storage shed at 203 Sherman St., zoned R-3 by Anthony Eppolito.
Rose explained to the commission the Gorman Foundation’s plans to move its Mary Rose Clinic, located in the Northside Shopping Plaza to its building in the Northside Shopping Plaza that was formerly the Rite-Aid. Plans are to have a small medical office, a dental office and to allow space for Community Action Partnership and BOCES. The commission agreed that once the use of the building changed when the Salvation Army proposed to move there a new use change was not required.
“Both are service agencies,” Rose said.
Margo Frink is vice president of M3P Media LLC and publisher of the Madison County Courier. She can be reached at Margo@m3pmedia.com or 315-481-8732.