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Salem planners OK 84-unit assisted living center

SALEM — The Planning Board gave the OK for a proposed 84-unit assisted living and Alzheimer’s care unit for Sally Sweets Way, across from the Ingram Senior Center.

The public hearing Tuesday night had been continued from April, when some board members had questions about parking and traffic issues associated with the site plan at 6 Sally Sweets Way.

The LCB Senior Living proposal includes 84 units for 90 residents, split between assisted living and Alzheimer’s care units. Project engineer David Jordan of MHF Design said the assisted care and Alzheimer’s care units would be kept separate.

Parking concerns

On Tuesday, the board granted a conditional use permit for parking at the facility. Under town zoning, 99 parking spaces would be required for a project the scope of the LCB facility.

However, board members were swayed by a study from the town’s independent traffic engineer stating the 89 proposed spaces would be more than enough for the proposed facility.

In April, Selectman James Keller asked if there was a way the assisted living facility and the senior center could come up with a plan to share some additional parking, since parking at the senior center can also be an issue when special events are held there.

While the additional parking for the senior center was not part of the Planning Board approval, LCB representatives agreed to work with the town to provide additional spaces for the senior center on an as-needed basis.

Any agreement between the town and LCB about the use of the parking spaces would have to get the approval of selectmen.

“I don’t think we should look at this plan and encompass another plan into it,” said board member Ronald Belanger. “It should be on its own merits and not about where they will put walkways and designated parking spaces for the senior center.”

LCB also addressed several traffic concerns that were raised in April. Jordan of MHF Design said Ewins Lane will be gated for emergency vehicle access only, preventing extra traffic from the road onto Veterans Parkway.

The developer also agreed to restripe the area of Veterans Parkway turning into Sally Sweets Way to create a dedicated left-hand turn lane.

The three-story, 72,000-square-foot building itself would be residential in nature and in keeping with the historical style of the Town Center zoning district within in which the majority of the property sits.

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