A conditional use permit for a potential assisted –living home in Wrangell is in question. The Sourdough Lodge, a former bed and breakfast, is planned to offer five assisted-living beds with 11 additional rooms for seniors. The new facility is planned to be called Harbor House.
New owners Shannon Bosdell and Daniel Blake requested a conditional use permit which is required to move forward with state licensing. The area is currently zoned as light industrial. Neighbors of Harbor House voiced their concerns to the Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday.
Neighbor David Powell noted the potential liability it may pose to the neighborhood.
“If one of the patients from the home were to walk down to our dock, fall and get injured, we could be liable for the injury since it occurred on our property,” Powell explained. “Another concern we have is the lack of respect Mr. Blake and Bosdell have shown for the neighborhood, the Planning and Zoning Commission and the process in general. At no time did they visit with the residents of the established neighborhood. We found out about their proposal when they started advertising on social media and through local news sources.”
Other residents explained they were nervous about available parking and overflow onto the adjacent Peninsula Street and possible restrictions and lifestyle changes with seniors in the neighborhood. Most added they support an assisted-living home in the community.
Bosdell, who has previously managed and owned assisted-living facilitates, addressed some of those concerns.
“When I say if I have 15 employees, it’s not all 15 there at one time. The only vehicles that would be there all the time would be me and Daniel [Blake],” he explained.
Bosdell and Blake plan to live in the facility with their families. He added that residents will not have cars unless it’s a necessary handicap vehicle. Bosdell said that stipulation will limit parking and keep necessary space open for emergency vehicles and the local senior bus.
Commissioner Don McConcachie told the audience that the decision needed additional vetting.
“There is legal ramifications as far as neighbors are concerned, worrying about trespass and what their liabilities are. That is a real concern. I think we need to address that,” he said. “I also think that possibly there is going to be on the behalf of the city as far as Planning and Zoning is concerned, some legal opinion that we need to obtain.”
The Commission decided to table its decision. Bosdell and Blake are already taking reservations at Harbor House and hope to open April 1. Bosdell said he doesn’t think this will delay the facility’s opening.
“We kind of have this window to push it out until April 1 for all the hiccups that could happen. So that’s the idea of it,” said Bosdell. “And, all the trespassing concerns and all that, once again it comes back to these are elderly people who live an active lifestyle I hope. It’s no different than anybody else in the community. This is their home also.”
The Commission will hold a public workshop Jan. 17 at 5:30 p.m.