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PLANNERS OK FACILITY FOR ASSISTED LIVING

The concept plan for the second phase of a senior citizens assisted-living complex was approved Wednesday night by the Clarence Planning Board.

Development plans were approved in November for the first phase of the independent community housing complex at 6015 Newhouse Road. The project includes a one-story building of 44 apartments, plus six duplexes that will comprise 56 additional units.

The second phase, which is identical to the first, will constitute a total build-out on the property, said Planning Board Chairman Harold K. Frey.

At least one thing will be different, though -- the owners.

Originally, both phases were presented by the Western New York Mennonite Retirement Community to the Town Board in August 1999. The nonprofit organization won first-phase approval last year for the project known as the Vinecroft Senior Living Community. The entire complex will be built on 41 acres of land bordering Clarence Center Road.

But Bristol Homes, another nonprofit organization that runs a similar facility in Buffalo, now wants to buy about 19 or 20 acres of the total 41-acre parcel to construct the second phase of buildings to complete the complex. Bristol representatives presented their plans Wednesday night.

"The Mennonites initially presented the first phase and a second-phase concept plan," Frey said. "Then Bristol came into the picture, asking for an amended concept plan. The use does not change much, but we want a new fire advisory and traffic study."

It will take about 30 days to get the reviews completed, Frey said.

Once completed, both facilities will include two single-story buildings and about 18 full- and part-time staff, including a full dietary department. A registered nurse also is expected to be on duty for four to six hours a week, officials said.

Units are expected to consist of a bedroom and a bathroom; all will share a common kitchen.

According to Planning Director James B. Callahan, the facilities are not nursing homes but minimum-level assisted-living residences. They are expected to serve residents mainly in their 80s, he has said.

Mike Helbringer, Bristol Homes executive director, said construction of the one-story building, no taller than 35 feet, will be limited to the northern portion of the property.

Bristol will own and operate the property.

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