Zoning ordinance change helps group move closer to building senior housing at Conneaut Lake

The Meadville Tribune
By Jean Shanley
Thursday, November 12, 2015

CONNEAUT LAKE — The next step in a planned senior housing project at Conneaut Lake was taken Wednesday night when Borough Council approved a change in its zoning ordinance that allows for a conditional use permit in the area planned for the project.

The vote now allows Hudson Property Management to seek approval for a conditional use permit in the area. That’s expected to happen at the December council meeting, according to Jeff Millin, borough attorney.

Council’s action followed a special zoning hearing board meeting regarding the changes immediately prior to council’s regular meeting. By law, the zoning hearing board had to have a public hearing before council could act to amend the ordinance.

No one from the public attended the hearing.

The ordinance allows construction of senior housing as a conditional use in the area, which is a C-2 general commercial district. The ordinance provides the criteria for conditional use, including lot and yard requirements, off-street parking and height limitations.

Also included are compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, water and sewage services, signage assurance of senior residency, maximum permitted occupation, lighting, clear sites and perimeter landscaping.

Hudson Property Management Group of Hermitage plans to build a three-story, $10 million senior housing complex to be known as Evans Square on property owned by Alan Moss that’s located between Fifth and Line streets in the borough. The area is near the post office.

The project would provide 40 units of housing (36 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom) for seniors. Kelley Coey, who represented the Hudson Group, said the company has done research on the history of the borough before choosing the name.

The next step is for the Hudson Group to apply for funding through the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The group did not make the cut for funding in 2015, but council member Bill Eldridge said the approval of the zoning change would heighten the group’s chances of winning funding when it applies in 2016.

Coey said the company will apply for the state funds. If approved in July 2016, construction could start in spring 2017 with completion expected by the end of 2017, she said.