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Senior citizen housing project approved in Hyrum

September 12th, 2009 Posted in Opinion

By Heidi Hansen
HYRUM — A proposal from Hickman Land Title Co. for construction of a senior citizen housing project on 675 West, that will be comprised of 60 percent green space and fenced off from the community, was approved Thursday evening by the Planning Commission.

“Our goal is to maintain a senior citizen housing project,” Hickman Land Title president Reed A. Elder said to the commission. “Eighty percent of the people living there must be senior citizens and one resident in each home must be at least 55 years of age as mandated by federal law.”

Elder went on to say that this project, called the Silver Willow Retirement Community, will be very similar to the one his company has already constructed in Hyde Park. He pointed out that so far they have been successful in creating senior citizen housing projects as they retain full control over everything that happens and strive to maintain a senior living environment.

Jan Jenkins of Hyrum said during public comment that she was in favor of the development as long as there would be enough open green space. She said a group of seniors would benefit the neighborhood, but on a busy road they need open space to avoid feeling crowded.

Elder said the plan provides for over 3 acres of green space. Many concerns about how the green space would be maintained arose.

Dave Bennett, member of the planning commission, said that due to past experiences with senior citizen housing projects, the community was concerned about money for maintenance. In the past, home owners associations have not had adequate funds to cut the entire areas grass when the housing project was not fully occupied, Bennett said.

He suggested that Elder do what others have done to avoid this and add a ½ percent development fee to the price of units at the time of purchase to go to the home owners association for maintenance.

Elder said he felt this was unnecessary, as his company purchases liability insurance to cover that kind of situation. However, he said that he is open to doing that because the cost will fall on his customers, not him.

Tod Pignatoro of Hyrum said he was concerned about property values decreasing if the homes become rentals and said he didn’t want it to be a gated community or poorly maintained.

However, Elder and the commission said they agreed that a fence around the community would be best, claiming that it would help keep children out and create autonomy. Elder also said he won’t discriminate towards the elderly, citing that some seniors cannot afford to buy, but still make excellent renters.

Bennett asked Elder to explain the terminology “expandable condominium” used in the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for the project and said citizens would feel more comfortable if that were removed.

Elder said it was just technical wording meaning that the project would be able to expand or acquire more land under the law and that he would change the phrase to “expandable project” to avoid confusion.

Bennett requested that the city have input in the home owners association to give neighbors peace of mind, as long as it didn’t open the city up to liability.

Senior citizens in the community who already own homes would be allowed to join the housing project by paying a fee and then receive all the services of the home owners association, Elder said.

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  1. One Response to “Senior citizen housing project approved in Hyrum”

  2. By Assisted Living Home on Jan 19, 2010

    You made some good points there. I think most people will agree, I’m going to look into this some more – thanks! Thanks for the info. A good find. Your article was very interesting. Thank You.

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