131-bed senior facility on Corriere Road gets OK from Palmer Twp. planners | Lehigh Valley Regional News

PALMER TWP., Pa. – The Palmer Township Planning Commission recommended approval Tuesday night for a conditional use application for a proposed 30,092-square-foot senior life care facility on the south side of Corriere Road.

The four-story, 131-bed facility would be located on a 4.36 acre lot at 3701 Corriere Road within the Planned Industrial and Commercial zoning district, and needs conditional use approval for constructing a building greater than two-and-a-half stories tall .

Easton Senior Living LLC proposed a similar senior residence plan to Palmer Township supervisors back in early 2021, but was met with objections to the plan due to the need for multiple zoning variances.

The initial proposed plan was for a five-story building, which would have required a 15-foot exemption for height. Fire safety was also a cause for concern, as the fire departments have their apparatus set for a 65-foot maximum building height, and the proposed plan would have topped the aerial truck’s reach by 10 feet.

Easton Senior Living has since talked with township staff and presented a variation of the original plan to the zoning hearing board in August 2021, which was permitted by variance.

That variation of the plan, which reduces the height of the building to approximately 55 feet tall, was received by the planning commission Tuesday night.

Representatives from Easton Senior Living expanded on the plan, noting the proposed facility will offer varying levels of health care services throughout the building, including memory care services, and assisted-living and independent-living services.

Those from Easton Senior Living said the design of the building pays attention to “what’s best” for residents and their living situations, and takes into account the necessary steps for fire prevention.

There are 106 parking spaces proposed for the plan, which incorporates spaces for both staff members and the number of beds in the facility. Of those 106 spaces, 69 will be located in an underground garage for climate-controlled parking. According to representatives from Easton Senior Living, that’s more than enough spaces considering the high number of individuals in the memory care unit who cannot drive.

Representatives from the developer also confirmed multiple times that the proposed building is to be constructed outside the floodplain and far above the floodplain elevation.

The proposed senior living facility would enter an already developed area. The property to the north of the site across Corriere Road is developed with low- and mid-rise apartment buildings, and the property to the south of the site is unimproved utility open space. The property to the east contains a maintenance building for the apartment complex, while the property to the west is improved with a medical office use.

The land development plan was accepted for review on March 8. The board of supervisors had a deadline of July 31 to hold a conditional use hearing and render a decision on the plan.

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