SALEM — A company that operates assisted living facilities across New England is proposing an 84-unit assisted living and Alzheimer's care unit for Sally Sweets Way, across from the Ingram Senior Center.
Representatives from LCB Senior Living recently appeared before the Planning Board to present initial plans to the board and get its feedback before coming forward with a formal plan for approval.
Board members were generally receptive to plans for the three-story, 73,000-square-foot building, but several members said they were concerned about a lack of parking at the facility.
"They've submitted a conceptual site plan in order to get suggestions from the Planning Board," said town planning director Ross Moldoff.
The proposal would sit on three parcels on Sally Sweets Way, according to project engineer David Jordan of MHF Design.
He noted that several years ago, the Planning Board approved a medical office building for one of the parcels, but that project never came to fruition.
The LCB Senior Living proposal includes 84 units for 90 residents, split between assisted living units and Alzheimer's care units. Jordan said the assisted care and Alzheimer's care units would be kept separate.
The building itself would be residential in nature and in keeping with the historical style of the Town Center zoning district that the majority of the property sits in.
Parking was the biggest issue in the initial discussions about the proposal. The developers are looking for a conditional use permit for 60 parking spaces, about half of the number required under the town's zoning regulations.
Jordan noted that the majority of the residents would not have vehicles and that the parking would largely be for employees and visitors.
However, several Planning Board members stated there are issues with parking at other assisted-care facilities in the town and that the senior center, which has a reputation for inadequate parking, sits across from the proposed development.
"It's a nice project and a nice building, but parking is an issue on top of the issue with the parking at the senior center we have now," said board member Ed DeClerq.
Several board members said they were afraid that if there was inadequate parking, visitors and employees would either attempt to park at the senior center or along the street.
Moldoff said that as part of the plan process, the town would conduct an independent parking study as well as a traffic study.
Board member Linda Harvey suggested the developers study the parking situation at other assisted living facilities in town to help determine if there will be enough parking spaces.