Friday, Mar. 01, 2013
Seniors complex downsized
Financing is a struggle for builders of day care for adults with memory loss
By Corey Pride / Cpride@losbanosenterprise.com
Planning commissioners on Wednesday agreed to modify plans for a complex for senior citizens with Alzheimer's disease so the project can be financed.
In 2008 Pacific Western Builders Inc. was given approval to build three buildings totaling 146,450 square feet and including 164 beds at the southwest corner of Miller Lane and San Luis Street. The project, known as Los Banos Memory Care, is slated to be built on 4.2 acres. It will provide day care for adults with memory loss and residential care for Alzheimer's patients.
Originally, two of the project's buildings were to be two stories tall and another would reach the three-story level. Financing for the complex has been elusive, so the developer asked the Planning Commission to allow the entire project to be one story totaling 27,985 square feet and include only 48 beds.
Seaside-based Country Roads Senior Living will operate Los Banos Memory Care. Garrett Shingu, the company's president, said the project will be built in three phases and be set up to deal with the disease as it progresses.
"It's broken up into pods of 16 (beds)," he said. "Each of the 16 will contain the different phases of the disease. We'll know what stage they are in the disease by their habits. A lot of time they forget what they like to listen to or what they like to eat. We try to make them eat foods at a certain point because they might be thinking of 20 years from now when their diets were different."
Commissioners did not oppose the design change, but did disagree on the roofing.
Commissioner Tom Spada said he would like to see the facility have a tile roof, incorporating more of the Spanish mission architecture in Los Banos' design standards. Commissioner Tracy Rosin disagreed.
"We shouldn't be nitpicky about what material they are going to be using. I don't think we as a Planning Commission have the right to tell them what type of material we want when it fits our design standards," Rosin said.
Commissioner Arkady Faktorovich said he knows firefighters prefer shingles because they're easier to walk on. He said he agrees with Rosin that tile roofing should not be forced upon the project.
Commissioner Tom Mello said he agreed with Spada that tile would be closer to what's called for in the design standards. Mello said a lot of time was spent creating the standards and it was for nothing if they are not followed.
The architect of the project said he was OK with whatever the commission decided about the roofing material.
Commissioners ultimately voted 6-0 to approve the modification to one-story and to have tile roofing.
Enterprise staff writer Corey Pride can be reached at 388-6563 or cpride@