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WEST GOSHEN — A senior independent living facility in the township has been in the works since 2009.
The three-story, 114-unit independent living facility will feature approximately 21 studio apartments, 72 one-bedroom apartments and 22 two-bedroom apartments on its 6.6-acre property.
“The applicant intends to provide support services for the residents of the facility, such as daily lunch and dinner, weekly housekeeping, linen service, emergency call service, a security system for the building and local transportation to medical appointments and social activities and functions,” said John Jaros, counselor for Traditions.
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The facility will be located on Boot Road, between Route 202 and Greenhill Road and will share a driveway with the Goshen Fire Company, which sits on the corner of Boot and Greenhill roads.
There initially was some debate over the shared roadway, said board Chair Raymond Halvorsen, but all the conditions were met by Traditions.
“If (Sunoco is) out for their three-year project, which is what I’ve been told is their estimate for completion, and they’re digging up the front of our property and (Traditions is) digging up the back of our property, do I need to tell you from a community standpoint of an ambulance call response or a fire call response what that could mean as far as safety of residents?” said Robert Hall, president of Goshen Fire Company, during a meeting Jan. 13. “It would be catastrophic if both sides of that fire station were disrupted at the same time by two different elements of people, which nobody planned. This has kind of hit us as a surprise.”
Hall, on behalf of the fire company, asked for the board to delay the vote on Traditions at the Jan. 13 meeting to give time to discuss the situation with Sunoco.
“We wanted to make sure that during the construction process, either Sunoco or Traditions, that the fire company wasn’t impeded on behalf of our residents in any manner whatsoever,” Halvorsen said.
The board agreed and during the two weeks between meetings, Township Manager Casey LaLonde and Township Solicitor Kristin Camp met with representatives from both Sunoco and Sunoco’s land agent.
“(Sunoco) identified the method by which they are hoping to put the Mariner East line within easements along Boot Road is primarily going to be direction drilling, but for one segment, and the one segment happens to be along the frontage of what is now owned by the Traditions, as well as the Goshen Fire Company property,” Camp said at the Jan. 27 meeting. “That area they identified as where they are going to do the traditional excavation of a trench (and) they need to have a lay-down area.
“They believe that (they revised) to a position where they felt the fire company would be willing to grant them that temporary workspace and that they indicated to us that they would not be using any portion of the fire company property that would impede access by the fire trucks. Based on that representation, they did share with us the proposed plan that, upon review, looked as if fire trucks were going to be able to get in and out of both entrances on Boot Road, as well as Greenhill Road, and that they would not be interrupting the fire company’s ability to get in and out of the property.”
With this new bit of information, the board felt they could approve the independent living facility by Traditions.
The answer from Sunoco also pleased Hall, though he did ask the board for a request moving forward as the two projects begin.
“If something does occur as this unfolds, we would just ask you to be mindful, as I think you are,” Hall said. “We value this township as one of our municipal partners (and) we feel it’s more of a kinship because of that. We recognize your commitment to the safety of the residents in this community. If something is anticipated, or something going on creates an obstruction where safety is now a concern, that you’ll assist us in any way, shape or form to stop whatever that is at the time until a suitable solution can be developed so that safety will always be No. 1.”