An assisted living facility in the Historic Benicia Arsenal will be the subject of a joint workshop between the Benicia Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Review Commission on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers.
The proposed project consists of two buildings. One is an assisted living facility with 188 units ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments. The assisted living facility would be housed in a two- and three-story building.
The second building is a Memory Care facility and would consist of 85 rental units. The project is in the early stages of development. The workshop will give the developers an opportunity to hear concerns of businesses in the area, and citizens interested in the Arsenal.
Bill Simpkins, owner of Simpkins Auto Care Center is one of those with concerns because the project is across the street and downwind from his business. “I think most people understand that separation of commercial and residential is a must,” said Simpkins. “Would you want my repair shop next to your house?”
Steve Gizzi, of the law firm Gizzi and Reep, who is representing the developers noted that residents would be renters, not owners. “It’s very nice because it’s got the units for people to rent,” said Gizzi. “They aren’t buying, so if they are unhappy with the noise they can go somewhere else.”
Attorney Dana Dean, who represents Amports and was speaking on the company’s behalf, wasn’t as upbeat about the residential aspect of the project. “It has long been recognized in the City of Benicia that there are appropriate places for residential uses and inappropriate places,” said Dean.
According to Gizzi, his clients Rick Beasley and Nick Huettenhain will present their project to the commissioners but that they are there mostly to listen to the concerns of citizens.
“I think it has the potential to be a compatible use,” said Gizzi. “There is definitely a strong need for this type of facility in Benicia.”
“We’re just at the infancy of the project,” said Dean. “I can’t say our concerns can’t be resolved but I can say we have concerns. We are taking this very seriously.
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