Discussion of Accessory Dwelling Units and Group Homes

The Development Dialogue Ad Hoc Committee will discuss the existing and potential regulations for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and group homes.

Files

Lakewood Zoning Article 4 ( 0.95 MB )

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ADUs should require ON SITE parking for the ADU residents. Do not allow primary dwelling unit owner to force parking onto the street.

02/23/2021 6:30 pm
Deborah Romero
4 / 5 Committee Members have viewed this comment

I agree with no 2-story unit on detached ADUs. 20 Feet is too high!!!
Keep attached ADUs within the profile of the house

02/23/2021 6:27 pm
Deborah Romero
4 / 5 Committee Members have viewed this comment

Lot size for detached ADU should be GREATER THAN 9,000 sq.ft. lot. Attached could be on 9,000+.

Allowing detached ADU to be closer to lot line is very concerning! I don't think people want others staring right into their windows. If you allow it, I would be concerned about fire.

Forbid windows facing neighbors' houses. Windows/layout need to face primary dwelling unit.

02/23/2021 6:24 pm
Deborah Romero
4 / 5 Committee Members have viewed this comment

My name is Heather Han and my husband Mark and I opened up a 12-bed residential assisted living facility off Morrison Rd & Kipling in 2020. Our group home is focused on memory care residents and we have specialized training in Alzheimer’s and dementia related diagnoses that helps us provide customized care so each residents maintains a sense of purpose and they can have the best life possible as they progress through their journey.

2020 was hard enough on all of us, but the toll that it has taken on our elders has been heartbreaking. Many of our new residents have come to us from memory care units of larger facilities where the isolation from their loved ones has led to a severe decline in their cognitive ability and happiness. As a group home, we’ve had the luxury of being able to “cohort” and isolate our residents together as one family unit. We’ve had no positive cases of COVID to date and many of our residents have made dramatic improvements since joining our home. We still limited visitations from outside loved ones when needed, but our residents were never stuck alone in their rooms and they enjoyed more intimate care with our higher staff to resident ratio and home cooked meals that they didn’t have to eat alone in their rooms from a styrofoam container. The peers that we know with smaller residential facilities provided amazing care throughout this crisis and we’ve proven that there is a great benefit of a group home to our residents. Memory care residents especially thrive in a more person-centered, higher staffed, smaller community where they don’t stay in their rooms all day and can keep a sense of purpose by helping to fold laundry or bake a cake. I say this all because it’s really important that you understand how valuable these residential assisted living facilities are and how much we contribute to the quality of life for so many of your citizens.

We’re happy to discuss the following in more detail, but we wanted to quickly share with you what we’re seeing as a changing (increasing) need in the demographics of the memory care population. First is how well these people do in these smaller group homes as discussed above, but second is that there seems to be an increasing need to accommodate couples in memory care. More and more of our elderly population is finding that both spouses may be struggling with some form of cognitive related issues, but staying together is of utmost importance. The memory care units at larger facilities don’t have “couples rooms” so most couples will stay in assisted living or even worse at home or in independent living in a larger place, where they have little to no specialized cognitive care to help delay the progression of the disease. Our building was created with substantially larger rooms that can accommodate couples and we currently have two couples already in our facility. But, we’ve have had to turn away additional prospects already specifically because they were couples since there’s a room rent discount and it would have created 4 vacant rooms with no room rent.
We are in this business because we care and we want to make a difference in people’s lives. It breaks our heart to have to close off to the growing couples’ need, but we simply can’t do it if it hurts our financial ability to keep our great staff or pay the mortgage.

So my ask of this Council as you discuss group homes is two fold: First, please think about the benefits and expanded options that these group homes offer to your constituents and second, that you consider the possibility for certain properties to go up to a capacity of 16 with a special accommodation. We understand the need to not set a precedent for every group home so even if you came up with some sort of 5-star certification based on criteria that you deemed reasonable, having the capacity for 16 would allow for places like ours that have plenty of space, direct access to a main thoroughfare, plenty of parking, proper fire mitigation and access, and specialized care training to further serve the growing needs of the community.

Thank you for reading these comments and thank you for your on-going hard work and support of the entire Lakewood community.

02/22/2021 8:57 am
Heather Han
5 / 5 Committee Members have viewed this comment

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