Henry BOC approves senior living facility

A proposed senior living facility in the Fairview area was approved by the Board of Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting, several months after it was initially denied. (Special Photo)

McDONOUGH — Those looking to put in a senior living facility in the Fairview Road area of Ellenwood succeeded after a second attempt on Tuesday.

A rezoning request was unanimously approved by the Henry County Board of Commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting after a public hearing that might have resembled a court case more than a typical public hearing.

Two commissioners, Blake Prince and Bruce Holmes, recused themselves from the discussion and from the vote due to conflicts of interest.

The reason for this was the senior facility was brought back to the Commission after the board denied the applicant’s request at the Nov. 21 meeting. The decision was appealed to the county’s Superior Court, according to the board at its Tuesday meeting.

The court brought the case back to the Board for its consideration, and it was suggested that legal action would be forthcoming if the board denied the request a second time.

Approval of the facility at Tuesday’s meeting involved an amendment to the comprehensive plan to adjust the density of the land, located at 4205 W. Village Parkway in the Ellenwood area from low-density to high-density, and to rezone the land from Residential-Agricultural (RA) to Multi-Family Residential (RM) land.

In an effort to quell concerns that the proposed living facility would be used by families and younger residents, a total of 17 conditions were incorporate in the rezoning request, which included a condition that states the development should be limited to those ages 55 and older.

In addition, another condition of the development listed a requirement for any future development of the property to be limited to those ages 55 and older through “restrictive covenants” recorded with Superior Court.

The proposed complex received comments of support and opposition from members of the public.

Opposing the move, resident Carl Swensson expressed a concern about the traffic that would be generated from the complex and if the infrastructure was there for the increased population.

“The infrastructure is not clearly established,” Swensson said. “In the future, you might want to consider working with infrastructure first. This is not going to work. I live in this district. It will affect me greatly as people come down from East Atlanta Road and Thurman Road.”

Swensson argued the increased traffic would lead to a decreased quality of life for those in the area.

On the other side of the argument, supporters said the new senior living center would fill a need in the area.

“We’re a growing, robust community,” said Henry County resident Vivian Thomas. “People move here because of the high quality of life. We need to embrace any type of development that carries a high type of standards. It will bring additional professional jobs in the administration and healthcare fields. We need to move forward to consider seniors here and forthcoming.”

The medical facility has been in the works for some time, and was initially approved by the county’s Zoning Advisory Board in October.

Last May, the Fairview Urgent Care facility opened to the public, a facility intended to provide access to care for common illnesses and non-life threatening injuries.

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