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Housing project for memory-impaired OK'd

A specialized housing for senior citizens with memory problems won the backing of Lancaster's Town Planning Board this week.

The Niagara Lutheran Health System plans to add assisted-living residences with 84 rooms at its GreenFields Continuing Care Community.

GreenFields already provides housing for 301 senior citizens on its 52-acre campus.

The seven residential structures and two storage buildings would be constructed in two phases, starting next spring, once an environmental review is completed and the Lancaster Town Board gives final approval, according to board and system officials.

The GreenFields Terrace project replaces a development of 24 patio homes that Niagara Lutheran previously won approval to build on the same, 8.4-acre site on Broadway between Pavement and Cemetery roads.

Market research showed more of a need for assisted-living housing with special attention to memory impairment, McMullen said.

Each of the seven residential buildings will contain 12 private apartments, a shared kitchen, dining room and living room and a fenced-in courtyard, Jurgen Arndt, Niagara Lutheran's president and CEO, told the Planning Board at its July 20 meeting.

The Planning Board had tabled the project until Wednesday's meeting to give the health system a chance to resolve engineering, landscaping and other issues.

Those included protecting the buildings at the southeast corner of the parcel from wayward golf balls from the adjacent Lancaster Country Club, winning town approval of a landscaping plan, resolving fire truck access to the courtyards and confirming the project can move forward under 2008 storm water regulations.

"They were all resolved, at the board meeting, to the satisfaction of the town engineer and the board," Melvin Szymanski, a veteran Planning Board member, said Thursday.

The development still must undergo an environmental review, but Szymanski said the project doesn't threaten any wetlands and is not located on a flood plain.

The Town Board then must approve this project.

email: swatson@buffnews.com