Aerial view of the Shorewood Senior Living development from the east. (Submitted graphic)

Shorewood approves plans of Oppidan senior housing

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sun Sailor

The Shorewood City Council approved concept and development stage plans at the March 28 meeting for the Oppidan Shorewood Senior Living project on Chaska Road and Highway 7 under the provision that traffic and lighting concerns will be addressed.

“I think the project is needed,” said Shorewood Mayor Scott Zerby. “I hear from residents almost everyday looking for somewhere for their next phase in life, and there is some frustration with being able to find this kind of housing stock in the area that is a reasonable price point. This project to me makes a lot of sense.”

Oppidan, in partnership with Ebenezer Management Services, will start its 14-month construction process on the three-story senior housing project this June. The $27 million project includes 105 senior housing rentals, 25 of which will be memory care, and the rest will be independent and assisted living.

The complex will have a constant 25-person staff, spread out over three shifts, and one on-call nurse. Amenities would include a hair salon, dining room, private meeting rooms, a lounge, fitness room and patio

“We are very excited about this project, and you will be able to see the full line of amenities in it,” said Oppidan’s Shannon Rusk, Vice President of Development and Brokerage Services.

The development is going to be built on 3.77 acres, where an office building and two residential homes are currently located and have been purchased by Oppidan.

The Shorewood Senior Living complex is primarily located in a residential area and was rezoned as a planned unit development.

Residents along Chaska Road expressed conflicting opinions about the project. Chaska Road residents Mike and Cindy Marr wrote in a letter to the city their concerns about traffic and light pollution.

“Shorewood has long been a city of small groups of neighbors,” they wrote. “This brings into question, ‘Does this facility belong in a neighborhood?’ You are proposing a for profit enterprise to alter a long standing neighborhood in a fine city. Where does this stop on our neighborhood road? What is to stop further building of the same type on the next properties?”

Councilmember Dick Woodruff also expressed concerned for traffic, specifically saying that Chaska Road is already a cut-through for semi-trucks traveling to Highway 41.

Chaska Road resident Sandra Clapp spoke at the March 28 meeting and said that she contacted the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department about any recent traffic concerns on Chaska Road, and they said none were reported. She said that she supported this development because of the need and also thought the location was appropriate.

“Its not a nice place for residential homes,” Clapp said. “I personally think this is the best type of housing for here.”

Shorewood resident Sue Hnastchenko also expressed support for the project, saying that she wished it was available earlier when she had to place her parents into assisted living but had to seek out a location in Chanhassen because none were open in the area.

“I would’ve loved to have something like this,” she said. “We have to look up to the reality that we are an aging population, and we don’t have a lot of options for seniors around the lake.”

Councilmember Debbie Siakel expressed doubt if this project was necessary, citing that Excelsior was looking into another senior housing development project, The Waters, that will be an 110-unit project on Water Street.

Rusk said that Oppidan commissioned a market study that factored in other senior housing developments in a two-mile radius that include the BeeHive Homes of Excelsior.

“My concern is for the well-being of our community,” Councilmember Kristine Sundberg said. “… I’m conflicted. … I see a need but there are too many issues.”

In response, Rusk said, “We’re not in the business to build things that won’t be filled. We have confidence.”

Another concern that the Planning Commission noted at its March 15 meeting was the limited buffer area from Chaska Road and local residential homes. This is also in direct relation to lighting concerns residents had.

“Site plan, as we pointed out, is extremely tight, and the main issue with that is it makes landscape and buffering very challenging to do,” said Planning Director Brad Nielsen.

Oppidan in turn presented a revised site plan that would add more brush and downcast lighting to limit disruptions. Also delivery trucks and traffic will be limited to daytime hours. Oppidan calculated that ambulance visits will occur roughly twice a month. These discussions will continue at later city council meetings.

The Planning Commission voted in favor of the development 3-2 at its March 15 meeting. The Shorewood City Council voted in favor of the concept and development plans 4-0 under the provision that concern will be reviewed. Final plans will be required to be submitted in early April and will be reviewed in late April or early May.

Oppidan is also now asking for tax increment financing after it was revealed that a water main from Shorewood would need to be extended to the location in order to get city water.

Chanhassen denied the developers access to their city water.

Contact Paige Kieffer at paige.kieffer@ecm-inc.com

The Shorewood City Council approved concept and development stage plans at the March 28 meeting for the Oppidan Shorewood Senior Living project on Chaska Road and Highway 7 under the provision that traffic and lighting concerns will be addressed.

“I think the project is needed,” said Shorewood Mayor Scott Zerby. “I hear from residents almost everyday looking for somewhere for their next phase in life, and there is some frustration with being able to find this kind of housing stock in the area that is a reasonable price point. This project to me makes a lot of sense.”

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Media Inquires Contact: Oppidan@lola-red.com