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Assisted living facilities on the agenda in Smithfield

November 20th, 2014 Posted in Opinion

By Katherine Lambert

SMITHFIELD — The possibility of adding assisted living facilities for residents of Smithfield was discussed by the Planning Commission Wednesday.

The assisted living facilities would be different from nursing homes in that there would not be 24 hour care facilities. Rather, those that live in the homes would receive intermittent care and would be capable of completing everyday activities. This led to another point that came under discussion, which was whether to classify the assisted living homes as a tier one or tier two care facility.

“To me it sounds probably like what they are doing out in Mendon,” Commission chair Jamie Anderson said. “I think it sounds like we could allow that. I don’t know if we would want that in a multi-family residential area.

“My opinion on the tier one and tier two facilities is we keep those zoned as nursing homes are,” Anderson said.

Commissioner Teuscher agreed with Anderson that the care facilities should not be on the same level of care as a nursing home, citing it fit the needs of the city. “I agree with that Jamie,” Teuscher said. “I just think we have to be sure that the facility, the proposed facility matches what they need plus what the city needs now.”

Commissioner Bryant McKay added his thoughts on how the city should proceed on where to place these facilities.

“I would like to give just some thought on this,” McKay said. “Where we would have a one or two person home, I don’t want to have a lot of homes spotted throughout our community all over the place. I don’t know if we can maybe put it so we have a 30 person assisted living home somewhere and then maybe the smaller communal ones in another area of town. I don’t know how to address that, but I don’t want a checkerboard.”

The decision for how to zone the assisted living facilities and considerations for how parking will work for the facilities will be discussed next month, Anderson said.

“I don’t think we have to rush this,” deputy recorder Char Izatt said, “because there has been no official appeal, just calls and one individual came in so I think we still have a little bit of time.”


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