State College

Ferguson supervisors approve care facilities

The Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance amendment Monday allowing personal care homes within the traditional town development district.

The amendment, which was originally to be voted on by the board in April, according to planning and zoning Director Ray Stolinas, also prohibits the conversion of residential buildings into personal care homes or assisted living residences with less than 30 beds.

A decision on the amendment was pushed to a later date due to significant changes in the language, Stolinas said.

While no members of the public appeared to speak during the public hearing portion of the discussion, Supervisor Laura Dininni did question the preservation of walking space within the development, and how the ordinance change would affect this.

Winn Bishop, senior vice president of development with Virginia-based developer Smith/Packett, assured Dininni that walkability is important with all projects, and developments in the town development would be held to the same standard. Bishop, however, declined to provide any details on what project his firm was developing.

After unanimous approval of the amendment, the board also unanimously approved a modification to phase eight of the Turnberry general master plan, substituting up to 120 personal care, assisted living and memory care units for a proposed senior apartments project subject to a submission of an implementation plan and revised phasing schedule.

With the adoption of the amended ordinance, Stolinas said, applicants to construct personal care homes will be submitting specific implementation plans for review by the township. A proposed senior apartment plan provided for fewer living spaces and required more building and impervious coverage while providing less open space than a proposed care facility.

Changes were not substantial enough to require modification to the approved Turnberry master plan, he said.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews