Parkview Senior Apartments received a preliminary nod from the Village Board to move forward with the third phase of its building plans.
But as a condition of the approval, the Village Board wants the developer to improve the entrance on Highway 32. The senior living apartment complex has already built two apartment buildings.
At its meeting Tuesday night, the Village Board unanimously approved the creation of a certified survey map, which creates the lot needed for the construction of the third apartment building. The plan includes building 73 apartments, which would house a dementia and Alzheimer care wing near the current buildings located just north of Kmart along Highway 32 near 4 Mile Road.
Last year, Mike Hayek, the engineer for the Village, told Alf McConnell, the developer on the project, that they would need to pay for any improvements made to the Highway 32 entrance due to the large number of emergency calls the Caledonia Fire Department responds to at the facility.
“It’s a safety issue on the road with the amount of calls from police and fire they currently get,” said Kevin Wanggaard, a Village Board member. "There was also a fatal car crash there involving an elderly couple and several other car crashes there over the years."
Caledonia Police Chief Toby Schey wrote a letter to the Planning Commission in February explaining that the police department responded to 163 calls for service in 2011 at the Parkview Apartment complex and the “vast majority of the calls were for an emergency involving the Caledonia Fire Department.” Schey recommended removing the raised median and replacing it with turn lanes because if there is a car crash, officers have to shut down the traffic lanes.
Schey also brought up the fatal car crash involving an elderly couple that happened in 2008 when they were exiting the driveway of the current apartment complex.
"It is unknown if the raised median played a factor in the accident," Schey wrote. "The elderly couple's vehicle was struck by a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Douglas Avenue."
Still, Hayek recommended that McConnell improve the southbound left turn lane, which the Village Board made a condition for approving the project.
McConnel still needs to come forward with building plans that will also need to be approved by the Planning Commission and the Village Board before construction can occur.
Calls made to the owner of Parkview Gardens were not returned. However, we’ll update the story with their comments once they do.