Planned retirement center needs rezoning

November 08, 1997


Staff Writer

A Richmond, Va., company is seeking zoning approval to build a $7 million assisted living retirement community near North Hagerstown High School, officials said.

The retirement community planned by Manorhouse Retirement Centers Inc. would accommodate 103 residents and create 50 jobs, company officials said.

Manorhouse Retirement Centers' plans call for a 53,000-square-foot retirement center to be built at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave., across the street from the high school and south of Beechwood Drive, said Marc Hirth, Manorhouse's director of development.

The firm needs a special exception to build the center in the area, which is zoned strictly residential, said Matt Davis, city planner.


The Hagerstown Board of Zoning Appeals will hear Manorhouse's request at its 7 p.m. meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 19. The meeting will be in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall.

The board usually announces its decisions at the same meeting at which it hears the request, Davis said.

"We look forward to being part of the Hagerstown community," Hirth said.

Construction could begin in the spring and be completed in a year, he said. The firm has centers in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The Hagerstown center would have 87 units, including private bedrooms with bathrooms and suites with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living room, said Susan Huffman, marketing coordinator.

The square-shaped building with a courtyard in the middle would offer a dining room, parlors, meditation room and activity rooms, Hirth said.

Manorhouse's monthly charges could be between $1,495 and $2,695, Huffman said. Those rates include rent, transportation, laundry, housekeeping, maintenance, meals and utilities except for cable and phone, she said.

Access to the 4.62-acre site would be off Pennsylvania Avenue, Hirth said.

The zoning board also will hear a request by the Washington County Association for Retarded Citizens for a special exception for an assisted living group home for about eight people at 343 S. Potomac St., Davis said.

A special exception is required because the area is zoned for residential and professional offices, he said.

Executive Director Bob DeHaven said the association is branching out after conducting a study that showed a need for assisted living facilities for people with limited income. He said there is a waiting list for assisted living accommodations in the community.

DeHaven said assisted living homes are for people who can take care of most of their primary needs, but require help with medication, daily living skills, meals and making sure their dietary needs are met.

The association's home could be open by February, DeHaven said. Monthly charges could range between $800 and $1,000, he said.

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