Stillwater News Press

December 6, 2012

Council approves rezoning plans for retirement village

By John Filonow
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — A new retirement community is one step closer to coming to town.

At a special meeting Thursday, Stilllwater City Council unanimously approved a first reading of an ordinance rezoning 711 W. Peaceable Acres from an agriculture district to a residential two-family and multi-family district.

The land is owned by former U.S. Congressman Wes Watkins and is north of Lakeside Golf Course near North Washington Street.

Watkins said he wanted to provide seniors with a quality retirement village.

Watkins said the new community would be called The Ranch.

John Harned, president and CEO of Epworth Villa in Oklahoma City, lives at the retirement community where he works. Epworth Villa has 400 residents and 250 employees, Harned said.

Harned said the new Stillwater community would have 200 residents and 125 employees.

The plans for the community include cottages and individual living apartments which would be leased for life, Harned said. The plans for the community are for a four-story building with an underground parking garage, Harned said.

Residents will pay a 10 percent deposit which will ensure if they run out of money through no fault of their own, they will still have a home for life, regardless of level of care, Harned said.

The community will feature individual living, assisted living, memory care and long-term care, Harned said.

Positions employed by the community will include physical therapists, registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and an executive chef, he said.

Harned said once his company pre-sells 65 to 75 percent of the units, construction could start. He said his goal is to start in the fall of 2013.

City Attorney John Dorman said the council will have a second reading of the rezoning ordinance Dec. 17.

Councilors also unanimously approved a second reading of an ordinance allowing for storage or parking of boats, trailers and recreational vehicles in front of a residence on a hard-surfaced or graveled area.

Councilors also unanimously approved an emergency clause which would mean the ordinance would start Sunday, once it is published in the NewsPress.