Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cottonwoods considers adding assisted living

The owners of Cottonwoods Resort in Paradise Valley are looking to improve the property, with the possibility of offering services typically available at assisted-living facilities.

Lynne Lagarde, a zoning attorney representing Cottonwoods, said the resort ownership plans to refurbish the existing 150 casitas located on about 17 acres adjacent to the Borgata, near Scottsdale Road and Lincoln Drive.

This would include reconfiguring the main part of the resort to make parking more accessible, upgrading the pool and open-space areas, as well as adding amenities to enhance the resort's attractiveness.

Lagarde also said the resort owners, WSRH Scottsdale Cottonwoods LLC and WSRH Scottsdale Land LLC, are looking at the possibility of developing the southwestern five acres for potential assisted-living facilities.

The area had previously been used as the manager's residence.

Representatives of the owners submitted an application for a major General Plan amendment to change that parcel's land-use designation from low-density residential to resort/country club, Aug. 1.

Officials say they will submit an amended special-use permit to the town this week.

Lagarde said the General Plan amendment could incorporate the five acres to build housing choices for those in the town's aging population whose housing needs have changed, but wish to stay in their community.

The parcel also could be used for single-owner resort housing or resort/rental units.

Adding some sort of senior-living component to the resort is a real possibility, she said.

"The community seems to be open to that concept, but we're still determining the need," she said. "We think it's a great idea, and something that PV is an appropriate place for. But it's not definitive -- the first thing is to renovate the main part of the resort."

Vice Mayor Michael Collins said senior-living opportunities for town residents was a topic of serious discussion during last year's General Plan update process.

He said getting a redevelopment plan for Cottonwoods that is sensitive to the residential context of adjacent neighborhoods and provides a service to the town's aging resident population can be a benefit to Paradise Valley.

"Add to that a long-term revenue source to help resolve the town's existing long-term structural budget deficit, it would be win-win-win for our community," Collins said.

The General Plan and permit amendments could feature a one-story buffer on the perimeter of the southern 10 acres of the property, with two-story elements on the east, as well as the potential for three-story resort/residential building behind the Borgata, Lagarde said.

"My clients are thinking about a buffer between our low-scale resort and the commercially-zoned Borgata," she said. "They don't know what might happen with the Borgata and can't count on it staying the way that it is."

The major General Plan amendment must be approved by December, which would allow for a summer 2014 start time, Lagarde said.

by Philip Haldiman - Sept. 6, 2012 The Republic |

Cottonwoods considers adding assisted living

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