Continuing the Emerald Heights conversation | Letter

On Dec. 14, Wendy Engquist submitted a letter to the editor (“Emerald Heights concerns”) about our Emerald Heights campus and our plans to increase health care for our residents, upgrade our skilled nursing facility and build a new independent living facility to provide more independent living opportunities for seniors. We want to take her letter to the editor as an opportunity to update our community about our plans.

Over the past few months, our neighbors have spoken and we have listened. Last month, at a neighborhood meeting that we held with more than 50 of our neighbors, we unveiled our redesigned building and robust landscaping plan. Our neighbors learned that we’ve reduced the building scale, modified the building design to blend with the neighborhood, and have increased the building setback from the road, significantly exceeding the code requirements.

We’ve also maintained our green commitment; 117 newly planted trees will surround the proposed Assisted Living building, 20 existing trees will be preserved – some as tall as 90 feet, and the 6 foot ivy-covered fence along the property line will be retained. We’re not only improving health care for our residents but we’re maintaining the green character of our neighborhood.

The new design and landscape plan for our proposed Assisted Living building ensures that the proposed development will be consistent with the character of our neighborhood, and we will continue to talk with our neighbors about our proposed development plans to ensure that there is good communication about them.

Along the way, we’d like to correct a couple of factual errors that Engquist made about Emerald Heights and our development plans. She writes in her letter “The original approval for Emerald Heights in 1988 required that buildings be placed on the central area of the property to maintain a buffer of natural area between these uncharacteristic buildings from our single-family homes.”

There were no requirements in Emerald Heights’ original approval, or in any subsequent zoning or development plan approvals, that buildings be placed in specific locations on the property. Our proposed development plans are guided by the needs of our residents and designed to fit with the character of our neighborhood.

Engquist also alleges “The city has dozens and dozens of legally rendered comments showing clearly that this proposal is in violation of city code.”

Each and every one of our developments and proposed developments meets or exceeds every city, county and state land-use and development code and regulation. We take compliance with codes and regulations seriously and we pay careful attention to ensure that we meet them.

We invite you to take a tour of our campus, talk with our residents, and understand how important these proposed developments are to providing health care, dignity and a good quality of life for our residents.

Grant Linacre

Executive director of Emerald Heights

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