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Planners endorse adult home

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm

MILFORD – The Caroline County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of a special exception permit for a defunct motel on U.S. 301 in the Dawn community to be operated as an assisted living facility.

The commission voted 5-1 to recommend the permit be issued, and the request now goes to the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

Commissioners Milton Bush, ‘Pete’ Davis, Bob Fiumara, William Smith, and Tim Thompson voted in favor of the request; commissioner Les Stanley opposed it.

The panel received no public comments on the request during a public hearing.

Sandra Brown of Henrico County is seeking a special exception permit for the property, a 1.5-acre site zoned rural preservation and located at 30500 Richmond Turnpike, a little under a half-mile north of the intersection of Route 30. The facility would serve up to 24 residents.

The property previously was operated as a retirement home, but has been vacant since it closed in 2006. Before being operated as a retirement home, the building was a motel until it was renovated and licensed as the Mary Field Home in 1974, according to Brown.

The assisted living facility would provide services to help adults with services for daily living, such as meals, bathing, and administering medications, according to Brown. It would have a staff of about six people on duty during the day as well as a supervisor at all times.

In briefing the commission on the application, county planner Angeline Pitts noted that that Brown plans to renovate the building and that it currently is not in compliance with the building code.

As conditions of approval, the facility will have to comply with appropriate state regulations, the number of residents will be limited to 24, and the permit would be reviewed in two years.

Bush asked Brown what kind of activities would be provided for residents. The adult home will provide 14 hours a week of programs and activities as required by state regulations, she said. Activities would include games and arts and crafts.

Bush also asked if the facility would provide therapeutic programs.

“Bingo could be therapeutic,” said Brown, who suggested that additional activities, such as music, could be therapeutic, too.

In response to another question from Bush, she said that services would be provided to transport residents to various activities and events elsewhere.

Fiumara expressed a concern that there would be few activities for residents, but Brown said that state regulations will require her to provide certain activities and programs.

In other business, the commission voted 6-0 to a subdivision request from Gwynn Owens of Ruther Glen. The action allows Owens to divide a 20-acre parcel at 26519 Ruther Glen Road into two 10-acre parcels.