Planners weigh pros and cons of senior facility

Design, traffic concerns raised

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board will vote on the proposed Creekside Villas senior community at the April 14 meeting.

But first the members will review the architecture and projected traffic impact of the project, which includes 104 units for independent living, 12 for assisted living and 12 for Alzheimer’s care.

Several issues raised at the April 1 regional issues subcommittee meeting are likely to resurface next week.

Nancy Novak, a newly elected board member, asked if the ratio of 104 units of independent living to only 12 assisted living units is realistic, considering seniors tend to “age in place.”

“The ideal situation is to be able to retain residents and have them move through the different levels,” Novak said.

Pam Paris of Generations Management Group, the organization tapped to manage Creekside, said that assisted living could be done anywhere, such as in the independent living units.

More possible

Developer Mike Finley said they also have a plan in place to be able to convert 12 additional units to assisted living.

Subcommittee co-chair Jan Fuchs also expressed concern about the architecture, height and colors of the project, given that it is going to be in one of the “most seen” areas of Carmel Valley with buildings cascading down the hillside.

Creekside is planned for the Carmel Creek cul-de-sac that is currently home to San Diego Jewish Academy, the Pinnacle apartment complex and Clews Horse Ranch. Future plans for the street also include a luxury-housing complex to replace the horse ranch and an office building across the street.

Changing market

Finley originally proposed Creekside as an apartment complex that was approved by the board in 2006. Due to the strength of the senior housing market, he said he decided to make a switch.

Finley has not made changes to the development footprint from 2006 - just changes to the buildings.

Where the plans have changed, Finley said, is in the common areas. To better serve their seniors they will have a clubhouse, dining room, library, salon, card room and an indoor-outdoor pool, all of which boost the square footage to 185,000 square feet from the originally approved 130,000 square feet, he explaind.

The seniors are considered to be low impact, Finley said, and won’t bring a lot of traffic as very few of the residents will drive. He said the plan calls for physicians to visit the site, reducing the amount of trips for residents. The center also will provide vans for transport, he added.

The facility will go beyond city parking standards, he said, with 134 spaces for residents, visitors and staff.