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Braselton approves South Hall senior living site

POSTED: April 20, 2009 11:15 p.m.

BRASELTON — The Braselton Town Council unanimously approved plans to build a senior living facility in South Hall.

The Braselton Planning Commission and Kevin Keller, the town’s planning and development director, both recommended approval of the project.

The 11.76-acre property is zoned general commercial and located off Thompson Mill Road, just east of the Spout Springs and Thompson Mill roads intersection.

Oaks Senior Living LLC asked council for a conditional use permit to build the facility. The family owned business develops senior living facilities and has previously built ones in Woodstock, Canton and Cumming.

Alex Salabarria, company spokesman, said that out of these locations, he was most excited about building a facility in Braselton.

“I’m more excited about being in this community than any of the previous three for many reasons,” he said. “One is just the feel of the community, and the potential that it poses for serving seniors that are very underserved in this area of the state.”

The council’s approval at Monday’s meeting included three stipulations. Mayor Pat Graham said a landscape plan must be approved by the mayor and council before a final site development permit is issued for the project, each independent living unit cottage must have an enclosed garage and the cottages must be occupied by persons 55 years or older.

“The third condition was added just to make sure that moving forward 10 years, 20 years from now, this will always be a place for assisted living for older citizens,” Graham said.

A condition previously recommended by the planning commission that a buffer of evergreen trees be planted on the Thompson Mill Road frontage was not included in council’s requests.

Graham said Braselton would rather see a landscape plan developed and brought before the council.

“I think what we’re hoping for is a nice landscape entrance statement, and I think that you are very capable of providing that for us,” she told representatives from Oaks Senior Living, LLC.

The facility will be built in two phases.

Phase I involves building an estimated 52,000-square-foot living facility with 34 rooms for Alzheimer’s patients and 52 assisted living spaces.

The next phase will include constructing a 57,000-square-foot facility with 72 independent living quarters. Sixty of these rooms will be located in a two-story building and the other 12 in cottages.

Construction on Phase I could begin in May or June, according to statements made last month by company president Nelson Salabarria.

Braselton Town Council members also voted Monday to apply for grant money, provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which could help fund a long-awaited wastewater treatment project.

Braselton will submit an application to the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, which has placed the project on the Recovery Act’s Clean Water fundable list.

The proposed project involves rehabilitating the wastewater pumping station and force main located off Ga. 124 east near Keys Crossing. “The facility was constructed in 1974, and has been on the Town’s priority list for replacement since 2004,” according to a statement written by Jerry Hood, Braselton’s engineer.

Total project costs are estimated at $850,000, and, if received, the grant would cover $340,000 of this combined with a low interest loan of $510,000 for 20 years, according to Hood. The funding, he wrote, provides 100 percent of the project cost, and Braselton would pay just for the loan closing cost at 2 percent and any interest during construction.

If funded, the project could go to bid in August with construction starting as early as September.



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