Zon­ing changed for $22 mil­lion nurs­ing home,

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

The orig­i­nal or­di­nance al­lowed for sin­gle-fam­ily res­i­den­tial home on the prop­erty, where the newly zoned or­di­nance is a mixed use dis­trict in­tended pri­mar­ily for mixed-use devel­op­ment and re­lated uses at a higher den­sity. Ac­cord­ing to the city of Cov­ing­ton’s code “the dis­trict pro­vides a lo­ca­tion for res­i­dences re­tail, goods and ser­vices and of­fices to sat­isfy the com­mon and fre­quent needs of the city’s busi­nesses and res­i­dents with de­sign stan­dards and de­sign pa­ram­e­ters to en­cour­age a pedes­trian-friendly tra­di­tional ur­ban form, ori­ented to pedes­tri­ans, which will limit the con­flicts be­tween ve­hi­cles and pedes­tri­ans.”

Much dis­cus­sion en­sued whether or not the zon­ing should be changed, mostly due to the fact that if the project did not go for­ward, what would be­come of the for­mer res­i­den­tial area.

How­ever, Clarke, the leader of the project, em­pha­sized to the coun­cil that the nurs­ing home project – Royal Hall – would be a luxury-style re­sort. It would have three build­ings, a four-story struc­ture for 55-and-older living, a three-story build­ing for se­nior care and a three-story build­ing for Alzheimer’s pa­tients.

Ac­cord­ing to a pro­posal sub­mit­ted by Bullard, “the de­vel­op­ers are plan­ning a fa­cil­ity that serves the res­i­dents of the re­sort like com­plex with first class dining and ameni­ties, but also of­fers ser­vice such as ball room en­ter­tain­ment, a move theatre, ex­er­cise fa­cil­i­ties and sa­lon/ spas that will meet as many of their ba­sic needs and de­sires as pos­si­ble.”

Clarke said the project is ex­pected to cost $22 mil­lion, will have 254 units, a 24-hour café, movie theater for 100 peo­ple on site, in­door ex­er­cise pool, out­door Olympic size pool, ten­nis court and ac­cess to Ash­ton Hills Golf Course. He also told the coun­cil it would take an es­ti­mated 115 full-time em­ploy­ees to run the fa­cil­ity.

“It’s called Royal Hall Se­nior Living Cen­ter for a rea­son,” Clarke said. “When you drive by it, you’ll know it’s first class all the way.”

Mayor Ron­nie John­ston asked if the zon­ing or­di­nance could be in­cluded with a revert clause to go back to the orig­i­nal or­di­nance if the nurs­ing fa­cil­ity isn’t built, and City At­tor­ney Ed Crudup agreed. A mo­tion was then go­ing to be brought up by the Coun­cil­woman Janet Good­man to take two weeks to look more into the or­di­nance word­ing. How­ever, the mo­tion was accidentally over­looked, and Coun­cil­man Chris Smith made a mo­tion to pass the re­zon­ing re­quest as is, be­fore it was sec­onded by Keith Dal­ton.

The con­fu­sion brought on a five minute re­cess. Af­ter the re­cess, Smith re­made his mo­tion to pass the re­zon­ing re­quest from Neigh­bor­hood Res­i­den­tial-2 to Cor­ri­dor Mixed Use on the 7.31 acres lo­cated on Hwy. 142, and Dal­ton re­made his mo­tion for a sec­ond.

The mo­tion passed unan­i­mously 6-0.

“It looks like a great thing for the city of Cov­ing­ton to me.” said the owner of the prop­erty, Sam Hay. “I think it will be a great thing for us , and of course at 83 years old, I’m prob­a­bly go­ing to be one of the first one’s in there.”

A $22 mil­lion nurs­ing home fa­cil­ity and more than 100 jobs could be headed to­ward Cov­ing­ton as the city coun­cil ap­proved to re­zone an area on Dear­ing Street.

Kippy Clarke of B&B South­side Hold­ings Co. and Robert Bullard, an agent with Bullard Land Plan­ning, came be­fore the coun­cil Mon­day night re­quest­ing the 7.31 acre par­cel on Hwy. 142 be changed from Neigh­bor­hood Res­i­den­tial-2, al­low­ing sin­gle fam­ily homes, to Cor­ri­dor Mixed use in or­der to have the three-build­ing com­plex, reach­ing as tall as four sto­ries.

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