Press-Republican

February 2, 2014

Meadowbrook takes step toward expansion

DAN HEATH
Press-Republican

PLATTSBURGH — Meadowbrook Healthcare has moved one step closer to approval of an 87-bed expansion project.

Meadowbrook, a skilled-nursing and rehabilitative center at 154 Prospect Ave., has proposed the addition of the two-story addition on the east side of the present facility.

More details of the project were presented by Meadowbrook Manager Paul Richards and architect David Schopfer during a recent preliminary subdivision and site-plan review by the City of Plattsburgh Planning Board.

MOVING PARKING

The region has been in need of additional skilled-nursing beds since Cedar Hedge Nursing Home in Rouses Point closed in 2006, Richards noted.

The subdivision would pave the way for Meadowbrook to acquire a 15-by-600-foot strip of property to the south from CVPH Medical Center and merge it with the Meadowbrook property.

The merged property would allow some parking spaces to be moved from the eastern side of the property to the south.

“The objective is really to minimize our intrusion going east,” Richards said.

The project received variances from the City Zoning Board of Appeals late last year. The plan calls for only 39 percent open space, instead of the required 50 percent, and only 204 parking spaces, when 295 are required.

The latter deficiency is regarded as minimal because residents don’t have vehicles, so the spaces are for staff and visitors.  

There would be 14-foot light fixtures on the perimeter of the parking area, Schopfer said, with little to no spillover at the tree line of the property.

ROOM SETUPS

Schopfer said there would be a combination of private rooms with their own bathrooms and semi-private rooms with a shared bathroom and separate sleeping quarters. Only a few units would have two beds.

The exterior would feature brick wainscoting on the lower four feet and a Dryvit exterior insulation and finish system above that. 

Groundwater would initially flow to a retention system under the parking lot and eventually to the city stormwater system to the east. 

Schopfer said the building is not designed to support additional stories.

NEIGHBORS CONCERNED

Joel and Marla Wolkowicz, who live on Jerry Drive to the east of Meadowbrook, raised concerns about the impact on their property if the expansion is built.

The north side of the area between the two properties is largely open space, with a privacy fence, which took four years to get installed after the last expansion project, Mrs. Wolkowicz said.

Schopfer said they plan to relocate the fence and add a berm so it retains its effectiveness.

The new project would move parking 50 feet closer to the Wolkowicz’s property and thus expose them to increased noise and light, Mrs. Wolkowicz said, so they would like to see the fence left in place during construction or erected as soon as possible afterward. 

Mr. Wolkowicz said trees would be preferable to a fence. 

Schopfer said they are committed to keeping the tree line at its current elevation on the east side of the property.

He said a grading and landscaping plan is part of final approval and would be reviewed with the City Department of Public Works and neighbors.

Planning Board Chairman Joseph Rotella said he would like to see information provided then on how the privacy issues would be resolved during construction.

MOVED ALONG

The Planning Board allowed the project to proceed to final subdivision and site-plan review.

Construction and renovations to the existing facility are expected to take about 14 months. With the necessary funding and approvals in place, work could start in early 2015.

The Clinton County Health Department would have to issue its own certificate of occupancy before the facility could become operational.

Email Dan Heath: dheath@plattsburgh.com