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Braselton town planners approve senior living plans

POSTED: March 29, 2009 10:17 p.m.

BRASELTON — The decision to build a senior living facility in South Hall County is now up to the Braselton Town Council.

The Braselton Planning Commission voted 4-0 last week to recommend approval of the project. Kevin Keller, the town’s planning and development director, also recommended approval.

The 11.7-acre property is off Thompson Mill Road just to the east of the Spout Springs and Thompson Mill roads intersection.

Oaks Senior Living, LLC asked the town for a conditional use permit to build the facility.

"We’re zoned general commercial and we’re asking for the variance in order for us to build this type of community under those conditions," said company spokesman Alex Salabarria.

The commission approved the company’s plans, but added two conditions. Commission member Tony Price said that any carports or garages in the facility must be fully enclosed and a dense tree buffer must be constructed to hide the facility’s service entrance area.

Oaks Senior Living, LLC is a family owned business that develops senior living facilities in the north metro Atlanta area, according to Nelson Salabarria, company president. He said they now have facilities in Woodstock, Canton and Cumming.

Alex Salabarria said the business chose Braselton based on several factors. He said it was a "serene" area, was close to a hospital and is easily accessible via Interstate 85 for families who want to visit their relatives.

He also said the facility is a much needed addition to Braselton’s infrastructure.

"There are not many choices or any choices within 20 miles of this area that provides the services that we provide," he said.

These services include 24-hour staff assistance where employees can help residents with bathing, grooming, dressing and eating, according to the company Web site. Salabarria said the facility will hire between 80 and 90 employees from the surrounding area.

Residents also receive housekeeping and laundry service, scheduled transportation for banking and shopping, wellness checkups and a variety of group activities.

If the town council approves the project, construction could begin in May or June, according to Nelson Salabarria.

Phase I of the project will involve building an estimated 52,000-square-foot assisted living facility that will be located in two interconnected buildings.

One of the single-story buildings will offer 34 rooms for Alzheimer’s patients and the other will have 52 assisted living spaces. Amenities will include a commercial kitchen, dining room, living rooms, chapel, theater and other public areas, according to Salabarria.

Phase II of the project will involve building a 57,000-square-foot facility that will have 72 independent living quarters. Sixty rooms will be located in the two-story facility and 12 others in cottages.

The town council will hold a public hearing on the issue at 4 p.m. on April 9 at its work session. It will vote on the issue at 7 p.m. on April 13 at its meeting. Both will be held at the Braselton Police and Municipal Court Building.


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