Archive for Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Council preserves seniors’ sector

November 26, 2003

Any future development near the Pinecrest senior citizen apartments will be for other senior citizens. The Eudora City Council voted Monday night to zone land abutting the existing Pinecrest apartments for housing for seniors.
Although the developer, Commercial Group, initially sought to build apartments for Eudorans of all ages, Vice President Don Cooper said they wouldn't object to zoning the land exclusively for seniors. Commercial Group twice failed to garner a recommendation for general occupancy apartments from the Eudora Planning Commission.
"We've tried very, very hard to be a good corporate citizen of Eudora," Cooper said.
Commercial Group told planners both times the request went before the Commission that Eudora had a greater need for all-ages apartments than just for senior apartments. The second time they faced the issue, the Commission members said they generally liked the plan, which would mirror the set-up of Pinecrest III, the developer's newest apartments.
What held them -- and some Council members -- back was the desire to keep that corner of Eudora exclusively for seniors, who have specific needs that aren't always compatible with the younger neighbors a general occupancy apartment complex would draw.
"I'd hate to see it opened to young people and have it cause problems," said Council member Tom Pyle.
Fellow Council member Rex Burkhardt, who said he'd lived in that neighborhood for about 50 Erinn R. Barcomb
The Eudora News
Any future development near the Pinecrest senior citizen apartments will be for other senior citizens. The Eudora City Council voted Monday night to zone land abutting the existing Pinecrest apartments for housing for seniors.
Although the developer, Commercial Group, initially sought to build apartments for Eudorans of all ages, Vice President Don Cooper said they wouldn't object to zoning the land exclusively for seniors. Commercial Group twice failed to garner a recommendation for general occupancy apartments from the Eudora Planning Commission.
"We've tried very, very hard to be a good corporate citizen of Eudora," Cooper said.
Commercial Group told planners both times the request went before the Commission that Eudora had a greater need for all-ages apartments than just for senior apartments. The second time they faced the issue, the Commission members said they generally liked the plan, which would mirror the set-up of Pinecrest III, the developer's newest apartments.
What held them -- and some Council members -- back was the desire to keep that corner of Eudora exclusively for seniors, who have specific needs that aren't always compatible with the younger neighbors a general occupancy apartment complex would draw.
"I'd hate to see it opened to young people and have it cause problems," said Council member Tom Pyle.
Fellow Council member Rex Burkhardt, who said he'd lived in that neighborhood for about 50 years, echoed Pyle's thoughts.
"I think the people in Eudora think highly of this development," Burkhardt said. "Including younger families would go against the nature of the neighborhood."
Furthermore, Mayor Ron Conner said the two- and three-bedroom apartments the developers wanted to build for general occupancy could translate well to senior housing.
"I think there are seniors in town who would like to have a townhome development other than the current Pinecrest," Conner said.
The mayor added he thought the area should be rid of overgrown vegetation, whether that mean eventual development or just cleaning up the area.

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