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Council OKs zoning amendment for 104-bed assisted living facility

Council OKs zoning amendment for 104-bed assisted living facility

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – Benchmark Senior Living’s proposal to construct a 104-bed assisted living facility took a step forward Monday, as city councilors approved a zoning amendment allowing the center to be built on a parcel on Bolton Street.

 This fall, officials from Benchmark presented plans for the proposed two-story facility, which would be located on a vacant 10-acre parcel next to the high school. The facility is slated to include 60 to 65 parking spaces, which will mostly be used for staff and visitors.

The property Benchmark plans to build on is zoned residential and did not allow for assisted living facilities without the zoning amendment the City Council passed Monday night, said City Councilor Joseph Delano.

Benchmark will also have to go before the council for a special permit, said Delano.

Attorney Dave McCay and Benchmark officials this fall characterized the Bolton Street location as a perfect spot for an assisted living facility due to its proximity to several health care facilities, police and fire stations, pharmacies and schools. McCay told Urban Affairs Committee members families can easily pick up their children from school and visit loved ones living at the facility.

Delano and City Council President Ed Clancy said the city may look at creating a zone, possibly adjacent to Marlborough Hospital, where assisted living facilities can be located in the future.

“It’s my expectation that we will come back next year and come up with a zone or solution as to how to locate these things,” Delano said at Monday’s City Council meeting. “I know some ward councilors were a little worried that they could pop up in residential neighborhoods and how that might affect people.”

Benchmark officials told Urban Affairs Committee members this fall that additional assisted living facilities are needed due to the growing senior citizen population across the country and region.

A Massachusetts company, Benchmark operates senior housing facilities in 51 communities in New England, including in Shrewsbury and Franklin.

The company provides senior housing and daily care for about 5,000 seniors.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.