By Alex Bridges
Warren County leaders gave an assisted living center the green light to nearly double in size and house more than twice the number of residents.
The Board of Supervisors at its meeting Tuesday voted to approve a change to a conditional-use permit issued to Daryl and Vicki Davison for the Hidden Springs Senior Living rest home facility at 973 Buck Mountain Road, Bentonville. The Davisons planned to build an addition on to the center to serve residents who need more acute care assisted living and those who are "memory challenged," according to information from the county Planning and Zoning Department.
At a public hearing held on the permit changes, the board heard supportive comments from current residents or family members of a resident who spoke favorably of the center and its staff.
Before the board took the vote, Supervisor Tony Carter disclosed that he has a family member living in the center.
Carter said by phone Wednesday the center's future expansion is a positive move and likely fits a need.
"I think it's a good thing for the community," Carter said. "The population is aging. There'll be more and more need for those types of facilities, and what they're doing is expanding their services to allow for additional care for people who may be suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia."
Carter pointed out a benefit of a single facility that can care for residents as their needs grow.
"I think it's a good thing, too, from the standpoint that our current residents won't have to move outside the county and they can remain here where they've lived most of their lives," Carter said.
Daryl Davison stated in an Aug. 16 letter to the board that the center, in operation for five years, remains full with other potential residents on a waiting list. Davison notes that certain parts of the existing facility, such as its backup generator, were designed or installed in anticipation of an expansion.
The original permit issued in August 2006 allowed the center to house 30 occupants. Designs show the addition would include a multi-purpose great room, centralized nursing stations, a secure outdoor area and sunrooms. With the exception of a few rooms for couples, most single rooms would be private. The architect who designed the current facility is designing the addition.
A preliminary layout of the proposed two-story addition shows each floor would cover 11,424 square feet. The current center is approximately 23,500 square feet. The center employs 35 people and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The center plans to hire 12 more staff members to work in the addition.
The applicants requested that the county change the occupancy limit on the permit from 30 to 72. Staff indicated that the Davisons have complied with the permit conditions and original site plan. The center's occupant load is at 36 with 30 rooms in the facility, according to county information.
The applicants also asked the county to remove the condition that makes the permit non-transferable to future owners. Davison states in the letter that "It is not my intention to sell HSSL but I think it represents a more accurate intention if it is removed."
The Virginia Department of Transportation advised the county in a letter that, given the location of the facility, inclement weather may delay the response time of emergency vehicles.
Davison noted in his letter that two recent snowstorms did not cause any problems with keeping the road to the facility clear. Staff kept the main access road clear to U.S. 340, Davison states. A helicopter was able to land when the center had to evacuate a patient, Davison added.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org