Liberty Township's Zoning Commission last week sent a developer back to the drawing board ahead of a vote on plans for an assisted-living complex.

Liberty Township's Zoning Commission last week sent a developer back to the drawing board ahead of a vote on plans for an assisted-living complex.

The Edens of Powell Development Co. plans to construct a facility with 100 assisted-living units and 25 memory-care units at the southwest corner of Sawmill Parkway and Sawmill Circle. The commission voted April 15 to delay a vote on the complex due to concerns over the number of parking spots planned at the site and the height of the structure.

The township's zoning code calls for 63 parking spaces, while the developer presented a plan with 43 spaces.

Laura Comek, an attorney representing the applicant, told the commission that the parking spaces were viewed as sufficient for visitors and 24 employees spread over three shifts. Residents of the complex will not have vehicles.

"This is not independent living, like an apartment," she said. "It's the next step."

Comek said reducing the number of required parking spots also would allow for an increased percentage of the site to be used for green space and landscaping.

Commission member Joe Karr said he questioned whether the 43 spaces would be adequate. He said he has visited similar facilities in the past that lacked parking.

"Your residents are not going to live in isolation," he said. "They're going to have visitors."

Commission member Bonnie Goodson said she shared Karr's concern about the planned parking spaces.

"Where we get into trouble is any major holiday," she said.

Architect Itamar Goldenholz said the plans easily could be revised to show where extra parking could be added.

Multiple residents who live near the site raised concerns about the proposed building's height. The building's highest points currently are planned to reach 48 feet, while the township's zoning code allows a maximum height of 40 feet.

Tim Burnham, president of the Big Bear Farms homeowners association, said the increased height would increase the impact on his neighborhood.

"That extra 8 feet is 20 percent," he said. "To put 20 percent in context, (do) you want a 20 percent pay cut -- a 20 percent increase in taxes? That's significant."

Goldenholz said he could return with an alternate plan that shortens the building, but he said it would be less architecturally pleasing. The commission is scheduled to review the revised plans for the project May 20.

Comek said the plan represents a less-intense usage than the site's commercial zoning allows.

"I'm not sure how many times over the last few years there have been discussions of developing this with a strip mall or office (use)," she said.

The Edens of Powell project is one of several residential facilities for seniors in development in the area.

Powell City Council approved plans for Ganzhorn Suites' 64-unit memory care facility and Spectrum Retirement Communities' 130-unit senior apartment complex last year. Both projects are planned near the intersection of Sawmill and Presidential parkways.

Spectrum also has announced plans for an assisted-living and memory-care facility between Liberty Crossing Drive and Sawmill Road.