MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Municipal Planning Commission voted Wednesday to alter a Planned Neighborhood Development that was originally approved around 2005.
Ohio Eastern Star Home is planning to remodel and expand the Hamilton Wing, an assisted living section that currently can house 13 residents.
According to Kim Rose, legal counsel for OESH, an expansion will increase the number of residents of the wing to 20 and will include “couple-friendly” suites for high-functioning seniors that need more of a watchful eye than skilled nursing care.
The wing is located on the east side of the Gallagher Centre, which is just to the left of the facility’s main entrance on Ohio 229.
A dining room and great room will also be included in the plans to create common areas for the residents.
City Engineer Cameron Keaton questioned the “big picture” as far as any further expansion at OESH and the affect on water and fire lines.
“We are concerned with how much more growth will happen in facilities like this,” Keaton said. “We have to look at fire protection and emergency needs including getting safety forces there and if we can supply the amount of water needed for an emergency.”
Keaton said there could be a need to drop in a main water line instead of merely connecting the new addition to the existing water infrastructure.
“As the board looks to future development, how are we going to handle the infrastructure?” Keaton asked. “If you get to where you can’t supply fire suppression, you won’t be moving forward.”
Keaton added that the city, including the fire department, is willing to work with the architects to make sure the infrastructure will allow for necessary water supply and pressure in the event of an emergency.
Depending on approval from the city and financing, Rose said administrators of OESH hope to start the project this year.
The motion to approve the requested changes in the Planned Neighborhood Development were approved unanimously.