Commonwealth Journal

Local News

December 26, 2013

$1.8 million senior center gets permit

Developers hope to have it completed during coming year

Somerset —

The best Christmas present for many Pulaski Countians could be the news that the county’s planned new Senior Center is clearing hurdles and is on the home stretch to a construction start date.
Tiffany Bourne, Pulaski County Community Development Director, said that an issue regarding zoning for the planned $1.8 million center for senior citizens has been resolved as of last week.
“We took care of the zoning last Thursday night,” said Bourne. “We got a conditional use zoning permit.”
Bourne noted that the permit is for use by governmental agencies.
The center is to be located on University Drive at the site of the former location of People’s Tobacco Warehouse, a two-acre plot. The nearly 10,000 square-foot facility will replace the existing Senior-Alzheimer’s Res-pite Center in the renovated former Dunbar School building on South Maple Street.
Bourne said that there had been “some confusion” on what was allowed under a conditional use permit, and that contributed to the hold-up that the county had been working to resolve.
She thanked Dennis Crist, building inspector for the City of Somerset, and the city government itself to helping to clear things up.
In September, Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese sent a letter to Bourne and the Pulaski Court  Fiscal Court stating that the application for a zone amendment by Stonebrook Development — the company operated by Brook Ping, warehouse properties owner — didn’t permit for residential use, as (the letter claimed) Ping said was the proposed use of the facility. Wiese said that Ping was offered an opportunity to re-file the application with amended information.
She also offered the opportunity to review the planning and zoning ordinance with Ping and county officials to determine the best application alternative to move ahead with plans.
“From my review of the Ordinance, it appears that alternative zone amendments ... may be requested for Mr. Ping’s planned development while still allowing senior housing as he initially proposed,” wrote Wiese.

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