Berkeley Square plans for another residential expansion

Berkeley Square is planning to expand the Hamilton retirement community with new patio homes.

The expansion project off NW Washington Boulevard will include the construction of 10 one-story duplex patio homes that will create 20 dwellings. The design of the homes and materials used will be consistent with existing homes completed in Phase 14, according to the plans presented.

Phase 14 was approved two years ago where a dozen residential units, seven of which were duplexes that equated to 14 residential dwellings. There are new homes being built for the retirement community’s Heritage Point section, which is north of the Coach House Tavern & Grille.

The 15th phase of Berkely Square received the OK from Hamilton Planning Commission last week, and it will now be scheduled for City Council’s consideration.

Part of Phase 15 includes an extension of Centennial Drive, and an access drive will be to the north of Centennial Drive and east of the Phase 14 development. Each unit will have either asphalt or concrete driveways.

Berkeley Square was approved in 1989 to have 289 units that included 137 homes, 57 congregate apartment units, 46 assisted living apartments and 49 full-service nursing care rooms. It opened in 1989 with 27 independent living homes.

The development required the planning commission’s approval because it is a major amendment to the Berkley Square Development. Property owners within 500 feet were notified of the last week’s public hearing.

While Janice Glenn, who lives on Summer Street just south of Berkely Square, didn’t oppose the expansion she wanted some assurance construction traffic would not use her neighborhood.

She said it was “frustrating” the previous times they did.

“They bring in the heavy trucks down our street. They come down the back road, down Summer Street, through Lagonda Avenue,” Glenn said, citing that road exits onto North B Street, which is the only exit from her development. “Our streets are very narrow, we got a lot of kids that play there. Our streets have been cracked, they were cracked worse because of the heavy trucks. We don’t have another way in and out.”

Evan Kelsey, of VSWC Architects, said truck traffic did use the neighborhood just one time during Phase 13 in 2017 ― though Glenn recalls a second time trucks used her street to access Berekely Square ― and said for this phase, they will go in and out of the entrance off North Washington Boulevard.

Planning Commission approved the request with several conditions, including three that related to landscaping.

All landscaping, site improvements, and all exterior finishes and other improvements must remain in compliance with the approved Final Development Plan; the city’s arborist shall review and approve proposed landscaping items, including all tree species; and all proposed landscaping item sizes must conform to the minimum size requirements.

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