New Castle News

July 24, 2013

Medical facility approved for Wilmington Road

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — A medical care facility featuring 86 beds will be built on Wilmington Road.

The Neshannock Township supervisors Monday unanimously granted conditional use approval to Landsman Development Corp. of Rochester, N.Y., doing business as Community Practice Development II, to operate a nursing home and hospital at 3022 Wilmington Road.

The corporation will construct a 72,000-square-foot facility housing a 52,000-square-foot, 66- to 72-bed skilled care nursing home and a 20,000-square-foot, 20-bed private, rehabilitation hospital serving patients recently discharged from hospitals and expected to remain for 30 to 60 days.

The facility and its parking lots will be built on seven of the site’s 19 acres, which were rezoned earlier this year to C-2 highway commercial. The property had been a combination of commercial and R-1 residential zoning.

Tamera L. Weis, of Apex Health Care Solutions that will manage the facility, said she anticipates construction will begin in the fall.

Architect Michael S. Healy of pH7 Architects of Columbus, reviewed lighting, security and landscaping concerns. He said the two facilities will share one footprint, with the nursing home and rehabilitation hospital in the same building. However, each will have a separate and secured entrance.

Healy said all doors will be locked all the time, but two will be “controlled entrances” covered by a staff person.

Lighting, he said, will comply with code and safety, be directed to the parking lots and will “not go beyond the limits of our seven-acre development.”

“Lighting will not intrude on neighborhood properties,” solicitor Jonathan Solomon said. “It will not exceed what is already there,” Healy agreed.

Landscaping, he added, “will enhance the natural beauty of the site.”

He said a 500-foot “green buffer” of deciduous and evergreen trees will be maintained at the north side of the development and a 40-foot buffer on the south and east sides, occupied by Castleview Memorial Gardens cemetery. The facilities will include a central courtyard, he added.

Existing zoning ordinance requires a 15-foot buffer, he noted.

The police and fire departments have reviewed the project, which received favorable reviews of the township and county planning commissions, he added.

Four neighbors speaking at the hearing said most of their concerns were addressed.

Gordon Mooney of Eldogor Lane renewed his request that the development be screened from residents, and called for more evergreens.

Karen Madison of Sunset Drive registered her concern that success of the business could result in future expansion and further jeopardize privacy of neighbors.

Linda Wagner, also of Eldogor Lane, noted “light pollution is not containable.” She added the proposed facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

“With 160 employees, there will be noise, activity and traffic close to our property,” she said. “If this was a regular business that closed at 5 p.m. you would not hear from any of us.”

Wagner also noted previous mining activity in the area could result in mine subsidence.

“There are plenty of other areas within one mile of the site that would have been far more suitable for this facility,” she said.

Fred Tanner of 3024 Wilmington Road, next door to the planned facility, asked about noise, about how landscaping will affect the creek that also cuts behind his house and if shrubs will be planted to separate the properties.

“I wish this project well,” Tanner said. “But if there are any complaints, they will come from me.”