Assisted living, memory care facility proposed near Highway 12 frontage road
The Wayzata City Council approved a concept plan for a “boutique” style assisted-living facility with dementia care on the eastern edge of the city.
The council met March 1 to consider the proposed development, called Cantissimo Senior Living, which would accommodate up to 40 residents in need of higher levels of memory care. The location is a 2.5-acre site that encompasses three vacant parcels at 15419 and 15429 Wayzata Boulevard East and 1405 Holdridge Terrace that are along Wayzata Boulevard and facing U.S. Highway 12.
There are single-family homes to the south and west of the site and a large wetland that would provide some buffer to the residential neighborhood to the south. To the east in Minnetonka is the Hillcrest Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, which ceased operations in 2019.
Emily Goellner, the city’s community development director, said the site previously belonged to the Minnesota Department of Transportation during the reconstruction of Highway 12. The site was sold in 2014 to Lake West Development and approved for a preliminary and final plat to combine the three parcels into two parcels for single-family homes, but the homes were never built. In 2016, Lake West Development proposed a set of 10 townhomes which later turned into plans for four single-family homes.
“Those requests were denied. … That was related to negative neighborhood impact and substantial tree removal and concerns over density,” Goellner said.
The concept plans for Cantissimo depict an L-shaped two-story building with a walk-out level to the rear and a patio overlooking the wetland to the southeast. Two road access points connected to the parking lot would be just east of the facility, and the western most parcel along Holdridge Terrace would be used as an open nature space with walking trails for future residents and the neighborhood. A stormwater pond is also proposed to the south of the building.
The application from Pillar/Senior Lifestyle Living LLC and property owner Anasazi Holdings LLC includes requests for a comprehensive plan amendment and approval of a planned unit development concept plan.
The comprehensive plan amendment request is to change the land-use designation for the properties from low-density residential to institutional. According to city code, the primary objective of uses within an institutional district is the provision of services, usually on a nonprofit basis, rather than the sale of goods or services. The institutional land use category usually represents publicly-owned buildings and properties that typically provide a community service.
The planning commission voted 6-0 in December to direct city staff to prepare a report and recommendation for approval of the comprehensive plan amendment and PUD concept plan.
The council, while overall supportive of the PUD concept plan, added a conditional approval to the resolution that the comprehensive plan amendment be contingent on approval of the final PUD plan. The final PUD plan would include a general development plan, design review and requests for lot combination and a variance for unit size.
“I think it’s a good use and I am in favor of the overall concept … with some modifications, fine-tuning, tweaking and refinement as we move through the process. However, I do think for me personally it is premature for a comp plan amendment,” Mayor Johanna Mouton said. “I would like to see that addressed at a later stage when things are more solidified.”
Councilmember Cathy Iverson said that while she had some concerns regarding the plans in their current stage, she said she supported the concept and that it made sense to add the conditional approval to move the project forward without committing to the comprehensive plan amendment as part of that evening’s resolution.
“I think there are too many unanswered questions still,” Iverson said.
On a 5-0 decision, the council voted to approve the PUD concept plan for Cantissimo Senior Living with a conditional approval for the comprehensive plan amendment only if a final PUD plan is approved.
Copyright © 2021 at Sun Newspapers. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.