A proposed assisted living and memory care center at the corner of Frank Scott Parkway and 11th Street received a boost Monday when Belleville aldermen voted 9-4 to approve a zoning variance for the project.
Residents who live near the site have expressed concerns about extra traffic and diminished property values because of the center but the developers said their project will serve a great need in the Belleville area and will not harm property values.
About 40 people met the developers last week. Some residents said they were opposed to the center while others said they liked the idea.
The developers, state Rep. Reggie Phillips, R-Charleston, and his son, Hadley Phillips, have said they have built about 30 assisted living centers around the state.
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“It’s important to us that we become the community center for the elderly. When we go into a town we want to drive the activities for the seniors to our buildings so we’re the hub,” Hadley Phillips told the residents during last week’s meeting at Belleville West High School.
Hadley Phillips initially said the center would cost about $7 million but he later said that when it is fully equipped, the cost would be about $9 million.
Phillips also told residents that the site is currently zoned for 39 single-family homes and that if those homes had been built, there would be more traffic in the area than the traffic produced by the assisted living center.
The projected monthly cost will be $3,000 to $3,500 and the center does not accept federal payments such as Medicare or Medicaid.
Aldermen who supported the zoning variance were Ken Kinsella and Joe Hazel of Ward 1; Jane Pusa of Ward 2; Johnnie Anthony and Raffi Ovian of Ward 4; Ed Dintelman and Shelly Schaefer of Ward 5; and Andy Gaa and Mary Stiehl of Ward 6.
The aldermen who opposed the variance were Mike Buettner of Ward 2; Kent Randle and Scott Tyler of Ward 3; and Roger Barfield of Ward 8.
Three aldermen were absent: Phil Elmore and Dennis Weygandt of Ward 7 and Roger Wigginton of Ward 8.
On Wednesday night, the city Planning Commission will review the site plan for the center, which is named The Villas of Holly Brook.
Plans call for 50 assisted living units and 24 memory care units.