A 100-bed memory care facility won support Monday of city plan commissioners, some of whom tried to allay neighbors concerns about their safety, traffic and quality of life.
After listening to more than an hour of public comments from an overflow crowd, commissioners said they had little choice but recommend approval because the plan met all city requirements.
Commissioners Kevin Wahlgren and Paul Wartman said they were not thrilled with the proposed residentially zoned site for the care center for dementia and related elderly patients. Others said it meets a community need and would not have a negative impact on surrounding homes.
In the end, only Wahlgren voted against.
, 18000 W. Greenfield Ave., plans to sell about seven acres north of the church off Davidson Road to Silverado Senior Living, based in Irvine, CA, to build and operate a 45,000-square-foot memory care facility.
The land is zoned for residential development. But Community Development Director Dan Ertl told the large crowd that the senior center was considered an institutional facility, like churches, schools and hospitals. Those facilities are allowed in all areas of the city, except conservancy districts, if they meet site standards for a conditional use permit.
And in the late 1990s when the city held hearings to adopt a new 2035 comprehensive plan, it marked the St. Luke property for future community / institutional use, not residential, Ertl said.
Neighbors, however, said this institution was a for-profit business that equated more to a commercial enterprise and was not appropriate for a residential setting.
"This completely changes the landscape of the community," neighbor Ken Nowak said.
Brookfield resident Peter Bylow said Silverado had a stellar reputation for providing quality care for elderly.
"This is an opportunity for Brookfield to have a first-class facility," said Bylow, who compared it to a Neenah facility that had been a wonderful setting for his mother-in-law for the end of her life.
But Jan Rymaszewski echoed many neighbors, calling the care center's mission "admirable" and compassionate but urging it be built near businesses and multifamily housing.
The church's excess land "should be sold as residential land," she said.