Independent living proposal coming to Plan Commission Oct. 26

A real estate investment company’s plan to build a senior living complex just outside of city limits on Richmond’s southeast side will come before the city’s Advisory Plan Commission Wednesday, Oct. 26.

Powers Properties Investments LLC of Indianapolis is proposing a complex of two-bedroom multi-family dwellings surrounding a recreation area. It fronts on the west side of Garwood Road about halfway between Hodgin and Wernle roads. The land is just west of Richmond city limits in a so-called fringe area where the city has planning jurisdiction.

The plan includes 26 multi-family structures that would have 232 total dwelling units. The housing would surround a park-like area with a fitness center, event center, playground, dog park, putting green, tennis and pickle ball courts and walking paths. Off-street parking for 464 residential spaces and 60 visitor spots is planned.

Jake Powers, the developer, also owns Chester Heights Apartments on Richmond’s north side, where he is adding 96 apartments. A Richmond native, he said his involvement there led to the Garwood Road project.

“As I’ve kind of been planted back in Richmond, I’ve become aware of a glaring need for senior housing,” he said. The Garwood Road dwellings would be considered independent living units.

The company’s proposal came to Richmond Common Council on Oct. 17. As is standard procedure, the council referred it to the Advisory Plan Commission for review. The proposal would involve a zoning change and does not comply with parts of the city’s comprehensive plan. Plan Commission members will ask questions of the developer and allow for public comment about the plan.

In his staff report to the Advisory Plan Commission, Ian Vanness, the interim city planner and director of infrastructure and development, is recommending project approval, stating that the plan would be the best use for the property.

The city’s Richmond Rising: Community Action Plan calls for property in that area to be developed for agricultural use and rural residences.

However, Vanness writes, city services including wastewater collection and fire protection are already provided. It is near the Hunters Pointe and Sandbridge Hills residential subdivisions and Arbor Trace senior living facility. Land on the other side of Garwood Road is already zoned M2 for multi-family residential.

Powers said that if the city approves the plan, construction could start in the first half of 2023.

After the Advisory Plan Commission reviews the proposal, it would go back to the Common Council with a favorable or unfavorable recommendation, or none at all. The council could approve or turn it down.

The Plan Commission meeting is open to the public and will start at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the third-floor meeting room at the Richmond Municipal Building, 50 N. 5th St. People who want to submit written comments before then can address them to the Advisory Plan Commission at that address.

The Common Council usually receives the APC recommendations and takes action at a meeting within the following month.

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Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.