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The Progress Home >> Friday, July 11, 2014 - Colonial Courtyard variance OKed

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Colonial Courtyard variance OKed
Friday, July 11, 2014

By Wendy Lynn Brion Staff Writer
Colonial Courtyard jumped the most recent hurdle in the quest to rebuild their facility when the Zoning Hearing Board last night approved a variance regarding lot coverage guidelines.
Last summer Colonial Courtyard was destroyed by fire June 25, 2013 and the company that owns Colonial Courtyard, IntegraCare, has been working to build a new facility at the location of the old one.
A hearing was held last night before the Lawrence Township Zoning Hearing Board to discuss a needed variance regarding lot coverage. The township's zoning only allows for a lot coverage of 30 percent and with the addition of a memory care unit, the coverage of the new building would be more. As part of the testimony, James Noe of Lami Grubb Architects and Carla Couderiet of Gannett Flemming Engineers did calculations regarding the lot coverage and what the plans call for would be 35.3 percent with approximately 44,360 square feet.
To kick off the hearing, board Solicitor Kim Kesner noted only two members of the board were able to be present, Nancy Yeager and Rex Reed. He informed Noe and Couderiet they could choose to postpone the hearing or proceed with two members, which is legal and they agreed to proceed.
Noe testified that IntegraCare looked into the needs of the community and found a "dire need" for memory care for Alzheimer's patients. The new building will include 54 units, just as the former building did, and an additional 17 units in a separate secure wing for memory care.
A great deal of thought regarding fire was put into the design of the new building. There is room on three sides for fire truck access. The back of the building has a large ditch behind it, but it will include building hydrants allowing firemen on foot to access the back of the building. There will be firewalls separating the building into three sections. It will be fully covered with sprinklers and also include lightening rod and surge resister systems.
In answer to a question from Reed, Noe said if the variance wasn't approved, the company would have to remove the memory care portion of the facility.
After testimony from the architect, engineer and zoning officer, the board and solicitor recessed to discuss the matter. Upon returning to the room, Yeager motioned to approve the variance and Reed seconded, allowing the project to move forward.


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