Ashland Town Council approves adult day care

Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 10:17 am

Town Council has green-lighted a conditional use permit to allow an adult day care business to open in Ashland.

Aug. 20, Council approved a request from Sharon Fields to operate an adult day care at 325 Hill Carter Parkway. The property is currently zoned for light industrial use, and is being used for offices and distribution. However a prior zoning change allows adult day care centers to operate in these districts with a conditional use permit, according to Nora Amos, director of planning and community development.

Under the permit, the applicant is required to be licensed by the appropriate state agency and is prevented from conducting any probation or substance abuse programs.

Amos said staff feels the project is in line with the town’s Comprehensive Plan, adding that it could bolster other economic development efforts in the area.

“We’ve had a difficult time finding tenants and we feel that this may assist by having so many people come in on a daily basis, seeing the property and how attractive it is,” Amos said.

Fields was the only speaker during the public hearing, and pointed to her 45 years of experience as a nurse and time spent caring for the elderly in her home.

“I’ve taken care of a judge, I’ve taken care of sheriffs, I’ve taken care of many, many people,” Fields said.

Fields will be able to care for up to 50 individuals at her new location, and said she already has a list of people waiting.

“I’m excited and I know what to do and I’m ready for the challenge,” she said.

Used Car Lot OK’d

Town Council also OK’d a request for a conditional use permit to allow a used car lot off Route 1.

The approval allows Robert B. Ritchie Jr. to take over a vacant office space adjacent to the Save-A-Minit convenience store. An attorney representing Ritchie said the majority of his client’s sales will come through online buyers, not walk-in traffic.

Sales of new automobiles are allowed byright in properties zoned under the town’s “highway commercial district,” however strictly used car sales require a conditional use permit to operate in B-2 zones. The property previously served as a used car sales lot, however a previous conditional use permit on the property had expired.

Ritchie cannot display more than five vehicles in front of the building and is required to screen those stored on the rear of the property using fencing or landscaping.

Ritchie also agreed to install landscape improvements in the front of the building.

The area is included in the Route 1 Design Overlay District, which calls for improving the physical appearance of the corridor, a goal commonly achieved during redevelopment of commercial property.

“The main opportunity we get to improve these types of sites along Route 1 are during rezonings and, more often, conditional use permits such as this one,” Amos said.

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