A St. Louis developer’s bid to build a $17 million senior living facility near a busy north-side Indianapolis intersection cleared a major hurdle Wednesday.
The Metropolitan Development Commission voted 6-2 in favor of Stonecrest Senior Living’s request to rezone 4.8 acres of wooded wetlands at the southeast corner of 86th and North Meridian streets.
The City-County Council still needs to sign off on the request. Councilors John Barth and Christine Scales both wrote letters opposing the project and could call it up for a vote.
Plans call for a 77,000-square-foot, 85-unit facility including 55 assisted-living apartments and 30 memory-care units.
Residents in the area fiercely opposed the project and packed the public assembly room to show their solidarity. They argued that the high-density development is not consistent with the comprehensive plan for the area.
The site already is zoned for low-density residential use. The rezoning makes way for a higher density development that would allow for almost 18 units per acre.
“It’s too intense,” said neighbor Brent Auberry. “It’s a camouflaged commercial use.”
But lawyer Brian Tuohy, representing Stonecrest, argued that the single-building development would have far less of an impact than the surrounding residential projects, which range from 48 to 120 units.
The average resident, likely to be 85 years old, won’t generate any traffic or noise, he said.
Tuohy also stressed that the developer is not asking for any assistance from the city in the form of tax abatements or other subsidies.