Jun 9, 2012

Commission’s zoning decision reconsidered


BY RYAN BERRY
GREENVILLE – Greenville City Council has decided it will take a closer look at a Greenville Planning & Zoning Commission not to rezone the corner of State Route 121 and Russ Road as Special Use. Trilogy Health Services and Leis Realty approached the commission on May 15 in regards to changing zoning from General Business to Special Use to accommodate a new nursing and assisted living facility.
According to Rodd Hale, safety/service director and members of the planning and zoning commission, the zoning change was turned down by a 5-1 vote. Believing this property is a gateway into the city, the questioned whether or not this type of facility would be an appropriate business to have at this gateway. The commission encouraged Trilogy to look at other options.
Dustin Leis and Don Leis, of Leis Realty, argued in front of council that this property has been on the market for over 10 years and there have been no businesses willing to do what the city would require, other than Trilogy. Don noted the property had been shopped to restaurants and gas stations, but the restaurants have repeatedly told him if they aren’t on Wagner Avenue they aren’t going to be here. Dustin pointed out the city was already going against its comprehensive plan.  The property is zoned for General Business and the plan calls for an Industrial zoning. The only other property large enough for this project that is zoned Special Use is owned by Greenville City Schools.
Ross Oberhausen, business development analyst for Trilogy Services, noted his company purchased beds at the Gade Nursing Facility and are currently leasing the buildings there. In order to accomplish their vision for Greenville, they will need to build a 55,000 square-foot facility for their 51-skilled beds and 36 assisted living beds. Some of the assisted living beds will be dedicated to their memory care services.
At their Gade facility, the company has 25 employees. When the new facility is 90-percent full, they expect to employ 68 full time and 30-40 part time employees. The pay rate would range from $30 per hour for administration to $11.50 hour for kitchen and dietary workers. In addition to an increase in employees, the company would be making an $8 million investment in the project.
Trilogy expressed its desire to be the gateway business. Oberhausen pointed out at past development sites, the company has witnessed a variety of business and facilities locate nearby. Some of those included outpatient doctor’s offices, apartments, churches, schools, and civic centers.
Todd Oliver, councilman, moved that council hold a public hearing to discuss this matter further. The motion was approved and the meeting will be held during the July 17 meeting of council. If council wishes to proceed further, a motion can be made to draw up legislation to change the zoning from General Business to Special Use.

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