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‘Memory care’ wing planned, facility expanding

STERLING – A Sterling assisted living facility is planning to add a wing for people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Construction is expected to start in the fall at Good Neighbor Care, at 2705 Avenue E, next to the YMCA. The company hopes to finish the project by spring, weather permitting.

Eugene, Ore.-based Good Neighbor, which has 20 assisted living facilities across the country, built its 61-unit building 4 years ago.

Now, it is at capacity, with a waiting list, the company said. The new wing will house 30 people.

Thursday, the Sterling Plan Commission unanimously recommended a change to Good Neighbor’s residential zoning to special use, a designation that would allow the new wing.

Gary White, Good Neighbor’s vice president of residential development, said it’s important to serve the unique needs of every resident with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

The “memory care” wing, he said, will have a secured courtyard and alarms that will go off if residents leave the building.

“It’s not like we won’t know when they leave,” he said.

The new one-story wing will be to the rear of the existing two-story building, with the two connected by a service corridor. The new building will have the same Victorian architecture, architect Joe Zody said.

Dustin Wolff, a planning consultant for the city, recommended changing the zoning.

“There will be some tweaking with the plan, so that there is no negative impact to surrounding properties,” he said.

No one from the public attended the Plan Commission meeting Thursday, and no written objections were filed.

The City Council will make a final decision on the zoning change at its July 1 meeting.

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