Pleasantville residents were deeply divided last week on whether Sunrise Senior Living should build an assisted living facility at the United Methodist Church property even as most speakers agreed a facility would benefit the community.
Community members packed the village board’s June 12 meeting eager to discuss the proposal during a roughly four-hour meeting.
“I have seen a lot of changes, things change and you have to accept change,” lifelong village resident Toni Emerson said. “Sunrise would be another type of residence and being 85 years old, I’d like a little consideration for people my age.”
While many seniors who attended agreed that an assisted living facility would help them remain in the village, some residents continued to appeal to the village board to oppose the request for a zoning code amendment that is needed for the project to advance.
“There’s only one honest answer to Sunrise and that is to say no,” Mark Markarian said. “It’s zoned for single-family and that’s what it should be.”
Sunrise has proposed the three-story structure be built into the elevation of the site to make it appear a smaller building.
Plans call for the site to contain 40 parking spots, including two handicapped accessible spaces. The proposed building, which would accommodate about 90 residents, will be surrounded by a variety of small tress, shrubs and groundcovers to help the structure blend into the residential neighborhood.
Sunrise must obtain a zoning code change from the village board to add a new floating overlay district before it is able to pursue site plan approval from the planning commission.
Despite Sunrise representatives spending the last year working with village officials to create a proposal that addresses neighbors’ concerns, residents from the properties on Maple Hill Road continued to urge the board to vote against the petition.
“If this were in a different location, you wouldn’t have this type of opposition,” said…