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Published: Tuesday, 11/5/2002

Maumee OKs plan for senior housing

Maumee City Council narrowly approved the preliminary plan for the Lutheran Homes Society's 70-unit senior citizen apartment complex off River Road after hearing passionate arguments from both sides last night.

The plan would put a two-story building across River Road from the former home of Lucas County Children Services, where a developer is building an upscale residential neighborhood.

Council approved the plan in a 4-3 vote. Council President Thomas Shook and members Douglas Brainard, Jenny Barlos, and Michael Coyle voted for the measure; Councilmen Brent Buehrer, Richard Carr, and Todd Zimmerman voted against it.

Meeting at Gateway Middle School, council heard from supporters of the planned complex who said the city has needed housing for senior citizens for a long time. Some residents said seniors are often forced to leave Maumee if they no longer can maintain their homes.

Janet Russ, executive director of the Maumee Senior Center, said the society's complex will be next door to the senior center, which would be ideal for joint projects and services.

“I think people should look at other Luther Home sites,” Ms. Russ urged. “It will be attractive and it will be maintained.”

Architect Terry Martell said the building will sit 26 feet back from River Road with the majority of its parking in the back of the structure. He said the front lawn will the landscaped with trees and bushes.

Opponents, though, argued that the two-story building was not in keeping with the homes surrounding the neighborhood, it would bring too much traffic, and it would wreck the area's infrastructure.

“My clients are vigorously opposed to this,” said attorney Russell Miller, who said he represented several landowners in the area who don't want the senior housing constructed. “We plan to seeking all remedies, including referendum if this moves forward.”

Mr. Zimmerman said he doesn't want his vote to be viewed that he is against housing for senior citizens, but agreed with many citizens speaking against the plan that it was inappropriate for the site.

In other action, law director Sheilah McAdams addressed concerns about a possible strip club inside the old Arrowhead Brewing Co. on Holland Road. Ms. McAdams said the business will not be allowed to open with adult entertainment.

She said the XO Club is not zoned for adult entertainment and an occupancy permit will not be signed unless the owners make clear that the establishment will not be used for that purpose. Ms. McAdams said the owners have been vague about its entertainment.

Council did not reverse its action last month to hire Critter Control of Toledo to trap and kill skunks in the River Road and Valley Drive area. During its committee-of-the whole meeting, Mike Nestor told council skunks are nomadic animals.

Several others spoke against killing the skunks and asked council to find a way to move them along without killing them.



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