A senior assisted-living facility proposed for a stretch of fallow farmland on Mill Road will be the subject of a public hearing February 17, as the facility’s developer tries to convince the town to move the property out of the agricultural protection zone.
The 162-unit facility, which the developer has been trying to build on the property since 2010, would be located on the east side of Mill Road between Middle Road and Route 58.
Concordia Senior Communities would offer a mixture of assisted-living and independent housing units with services that include meal delivery, local transportation, on-site medical care and recreational activities and excursions.
Developer Ronald Devito argues that the town’s burgeoning senior population has created a need for such a facility. As of 2015, almost 13,000 seniors were living in Riverhead, with more than 7,600 of those being older than 65 years old, according to one report.
“There is significant demand and unmet need for senior communities in the Town of Riverhead,” he wrote in a memorandum to the town acquired by RiverheadLOCAL last month.
But the town has been resistant to his attempts to get the property’s zoning changed to allow such a facility. The project was shot down in 2012 after the town referred it to the Suffolk County Planning Commission.
Devito returned to the town board last fall with a new site plan he says addresses all the concerns the town planning board expressed about the project three years ago.
That includes reducing the number of housing units from 189 to 162, as well as rebalancing the ratio of independent living to assisted living units. With so many other senior independent living facilities in town already, Concordia’s new plan has increased the number of assisted-living units in its proposal.
In total, there would be 48 independent and 114 assisted-living units. They would be priced affordably, keyed to Riverhead’s median income instead of Suffolk County’s, according to the proposal, with all-inclusive rates that vary based on the level of care.
An adult day care would also be available for seniors who live at home but who are in need of supervision during the day, when a family caregiver may not be available. The day care service would include transportation to and from Concordia, as well as meals and recreational activities.
Temporary stays at the facility would also be available to give family members a break from the responsibilities of caregiving for their loved ones.
The facility would create more than 200 local jobs during construction and another 112 full-time jobs at the facility itself by its third year of operation, according to the memorandum.