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Housing development for memory impaired approved

Construction will begin soon on a development of household-style residences for senior citizens with memory problems, after the Lancaster Town Board approved the site plan for the project this week.

The project, proposed by the Niagara Lutheran Health System, is the latest expansion of its GreenFields Continuing Care Community in the town.

The first phase of the GreenField Terrace development will cost $6.5 million and provide living arrangements for seniors with memory problems who can, with assistance, take care of themselves, system officials said.

"We are very excited on moving forward," said Lori Hannon, director of marketing and senior living for Niagara Lutheran.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held April 29, and construction should take nine months to complete, Hannon said.

Niagara Lutheran plans initially to construct four, L-shaped buildings around a central courtyard on 8 1/2 acres east of the existing GreenFields property, along Broadway between Cemetery and Pavement roads.

Each building will hold private apartments for 12 to 15 residents, along with common kitchen areas and living rooms.

The site plan submitted by Niagara Lutheran calls for seven residences in all, though Hannon said the timeline for construction of the other three buildings will be driven by demand.

The town Planning Board recommended approval of the site plan last July, but Niagara Lutheran waited to bring the project to the Town Board.

A joint meeting of the Planning and Town boards reviewed the development earlier this month and found it would not harm the environment.

The Town Board's approval at its Monday meeting was conditioned on Niagara Lutheran's obtaining an easement from the owners of the adjacent Lancaster Country Club.

The easement, allowing GreenField Terrace to share a retention pond with the country club, should be finalized in the coming days, Hannon said.

Prior to Monday's vote, Councilwoman Donna G. Stempniak pointed out that the GreenField Terrace project won't be exempt from property taxes.

Niagara Lutheran will make payments in lieu of taxes to the town as part of an agreement negotiated with David C. Marrano, the former town assessor.