Kenai complex would necessitate new infrastructure

Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2006

To assure Kenai gets the best use of its land, city administrators are carefully reviewing plans for the proposed development of a senior assisted-living facility and a Frontier Community Services administration building on a 77-acre parcel near the Mommsen Subdivision.

In July, the Kenai City Council passed a resolution expressing intent to donate up to 30 acres of the parcel to the Senior Connection group of Kenai.

Last month the council instructed city administration to carefully examine existing infrastructure — water and sewer lines in particular — to determine how much upgrades would cost the city if the proposed Frontier Community Services project goes forward.

Frontier would like to build an administration building and a day-care building on 24.8 acres of the parcel.

The city-owned land is bounded by California Avenue on the north, Nightingale Street on east, Redoubt Avenue on the south and Fourth Avenue on the west. Some of the streets are not yet built.

The first phase of the Senior Connection project calls for building one wing of a chevron-shaped building that would house 15 assisted-living apartments, common areas and an entrance structure that includes an institutional kitchen and dining room.

Subsequent phases would add 15 apartments as the other wing of the building, add a second v-shaped building, and eventually add a couple dozen independent living multiplex buildings.

The city’s donation of the land to the nonprofit seniors’ group would have a reversionary clause returning the property to the city if it is used for other than nonprofit senior assisted-living facilities, or if the assisted living portion of the project and a master plan for development of an independent senior housing project are not substantially completed within three years of the land donation, according to the approved city council resolution.

Frontier Community Services would like to build a new 12,220 square-foot administration building and a day-care and preschool building during the first phase of its proposed development.

The day-care and preschool building would allow Frontier to provide services for children experiencing disabilities.

Subsequent phases would include a maintenance building, vocational building, assisted-living homes for disabled people and a property management facility for the assisted-living homes.

With that much development proposed for the area, council members Rick Ross and Joe Moore last month said questions about water and sewer service should be answered first.

In describing the water main in the area, Ross said, “I don’t want to say, ‘old,’ but it was put in the year I graduated high school.”

According to acting City Manager Chuck Kopp, original sewer lines serving the Mommsen Subdivision are “old clay pipe,” and probably would not be adequate for new development.

Newer, metal piping, however, does exist along the Redoubt Avenue side of the proposed project, Kopp said, and the city is looking to assure sufficient right of way is given to bring infrastructure through that gateway, as well as to provide vehicle access and egress for the seniors’ development.

Frontier would like to begin work on the project in 2007 with completion of the first two phases tentatively slated for 2009.

At the concurrence of the council Dec. 21, Mayor Pat Porter directed the city administration to go forward and determine infrastructure costs.



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