Ave Maria expansion gets greenlighted

Ave Maria logoSupporters and concerned citizens spoke up about Ave Maria expansions during the Nov. 25 Bartlett city board meeting. The project for the senior living facility includes two parcels: A smaller one on the west side of Charles Bryan Road and a larger tract to the north, opposite Saint Ann Catholic School.

Both parcels will have three residential units and parking. The larger parcel would also have a building with office space and an adult daycare facility.

The board approved rezoning from O-C to RS-18 (residential) and granted a special-use permit.

Alderman Pleasant voted no. Board member David Parsons participated in discussions but did not vote because of a conflict; his office is nearby.

The rezoning and special-use permit were necessary for the expansion because Bartlett’s current office/commercial zones don’t allow residential use.

One supporter was registered nurse Kay Wachob, who’s worked in long-term care for years.

“I may be getting close to the time for long-term care,” she said. “I want to be in a place that is homelike, is warm, is friendly, that isn’t institutional.”

She added, “I request that you please approve the expansion of Ave Maria so we can give the quality of care that the elderly deserve.”

Dissenter emphasized that they support Ave Maria and its expansion. They said they object to traffic issues and possible property value drops because of the aesthetics of a water retention basin.

Traffic discussions centered on one driveway that might cause problems for businesses on Summer Oaks Drive.

When approving the rezoning and special-use permit, the board expressed an intention to remove the driveway access to Summer Oaks.

They also said they will ensure that developers widen a driveway shared with an existing business on adjacent property.

Written by Carolyn Bahm, Express editor. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to bartlett.editor@journalinc.com.