Assisted living home proposed for Old Buckhead Road
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Morgan County Planning Commission members held an initial public hearing last week for a conditional use request for an assisted living facility to be located on Old Buckhead Road.
Diana Cossio was present at the meeting to answer questions about the application, which was filed by her and her husband, Dr. Miguel Cossio.
The proposed home, which could eventually have 75 beds, would be for people who need living assistance, said Cossio, but not full-time nursing care.
“The people who would live in this home would be over 55, with most of them probably in the 75-85 year-old range,” said Cossio.
“They might have mild dementia, they might need help taking their medications…it’s not a nursing home. All of the residents will be ambulatory, or be able to get around with a wheelchair.”
Several neighbors came to the planning commission meeting to lodge concerns about the proposed facility, with most of those concerns relating to the fact that a portion of the Cossio’s 64-acre tract is part of a flood plain.
“I would be concerned about the safety of the building,” said neighbor Carl Bhame, who said that he has seen portions of the Cossio’s property flooded at least twice in the past 20 years or so.
Others were concerned about density, as well as the potential commercial precedent.
“I’m kind of shocked that you would even consider a multi-family unit in an agricultural area, especially a commercial enterprise,” said Bill Bhame.
County planning staff members noted that the residential rooms would likely not meet the definition of “dwellings” as identified in county ordinances.
Cossio agreed that she would like to see what a civil engineer had to say about the proposed site.
The matter was tabled until the commission’s November 20 meeting. That meeting will be moved forward one week because of t the Thanksgiving holiday.