Proposed senior care development raises concerns

The rezoning of a 35.53-acre development for senior citizens on Creekside Trail, which includes an activity center and independent residential cottages, was approved by the Kyle City Council earlier this month, but not without controversy.

Sarah Files, owner of Life’s Journey Hospice & Palliative Care, applied for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) in January. According to documents submitted to the city, the initial construction would include 14 residential cottages ranging from 800 to 1,100 square feet and a 10,000 square foot community center and administrative building.

“We want to put a home health and hospice office on site … We also want to put an activity center in the front of the development, and then behind it we wanted to create single-unit housing for seniors to have their own space and to be around similarly aged people.” Sarah Files, owner of Life’s Journey Hospice & Palliative Care

The community center will have a quilting room, an art studio, a business center, a dining area and a commercial kitchen. It’s going to be a nice place where senior citizens can just be with others, Files said.

The other side of the one-story building will be offices for at-home hospice care providers who treat patients off-site.

However, some council members and residents expressed concerns about the development.

Creekside Trail is a one-lane road that cannot handle the increased traffic the development will bring, said Bill Peeler, resident of the area. Council members shared Peeler’s concern and agreed the road would have to be improved.

Peeler said he was concerned about the development’s impact on nearby residents’ lifestyles. Peeler and his wife purchased their home 28 years ago because they liked the quiet, undeveloped area, he said.

“It was in the country, which is what I wanted and what other people that were out there wanted,” Peeler said. “It’s just frustrating that the life that we invested in, that we invested our life savings in, is basically being wasted.”

Peeler and some residents are also concerned changing the property’s zoning from Agriculture to PUD does not restrict what’s developed there.

“Once the property is re-zoned commercial, there are certain restrictions but those restrictions are pretty broad and she can do whatever she wants to with that,” Peeler said.

According to city documents, PUD zoning allows for neighborhood commercial, residential condominium districts and agriculture zoning districts within it.

Any PUD is required to be a well thought out development that will ultimately enhance the immediate and surrounding area, the document states. Additionally, this development will only serve residents within the PUD boundaries.

“I want to take in their concerns,” Files said. “I want to actually listen to them and make changes, even the lay out of my property to accommodate their living situation.”

Files said she and her consultants would be working with the city to come up with an agreement and work out issues like repairing the road.

“We’re just really excited about bringing something like this to Kyle,” Files said. “I think it’s a much needed thing for seniors.”

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