Three-story assisted living facility OK’d
Cedarburg officials must still approve landscaping buffers

By Denise Seyfer - News Graphic Staff

July 9, 2015

CEDARBURG — Following a public hearing, the city’s Plan Commission Monday unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the Aster Retirement Community of Cedarburg, allowing the development to move forward.

The commission, however, also voted to table a decision on the development’s landscaping plans for further review amid neighbors’ concerns.

Construction of the $14.8 million project is set to begin this October, with a proposed occupancy date of October 2016. Developer Robert Niebauer will also pay impact fees totaling $393,596 prior to the issuance of the building permit, according to the CUP.

The 110-unit assisted living and memory care complex will be located on a 6-acre parcel at W76 N627 Wauwatosa Road, behind Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church adjacent to the county-owned Lasata Senior Living Campus.

Niebauer said his company, Iconica, is also developing similar facilities in Mequon and Grafton.

Niebauer’s plan to purchase the parcel hinged on the commission granting the CUP, said City Planner Jon Censky, adding that the developer was still in the process of closing on the land deal as of Wednesday.

Several neighbors who live on Williams Drive next to the site addressed Niebauer and the Plan Commission about a lack of trees within the plan, specifically evergreen trees.

“What we want to talk about is the landscaping plan, especially for the west (boundary),” said Cedarburg resident Patricia Moreland, whose property shares the westside treeline.

Moreland said she wanted a dense, year-long screen using more evergreens to hide the development in winter, which could equate to roughly 20 to 30 more trees added to the plans.

In response, Censky suggested the city should work with Niebauer and the neighbors to refine the plans. Any new landscaping plans would then be required to come back to the plan commission for approval, he said.

Niebauer said he would be willing to work with city officials and a Williams Drive representative to redesign the western landscaping.

Additionally, an unlit, emergency vehicle access road is planned for that portion of the building.

The Aster complex will be certified or licensed residential care apartment complex and community-based residential facility, according to the plan.

It will consist of 30 assisted living units which will be fully serviced. The 50 congregate care units, or independent living apartments, in the front portion of the three-story building will have more limited services, according to the developer.

Another 30 units for memory care will be located within a single-story structure attached to the back end of the facility.

It will be staffed 24 hours a day and seven days a week with caregivers and support staff, employing approximately 40 full-time and part-time workers.

Resident units will be fully secured with the latest security devices, aiding in the care of those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, according to the developer.

The complex will have multiple floors within the RCAC portion of the facility to reduce walking distances to and from resident rooms and the dining room, lobby and other common areas, since residents may have to use canes, walkers or other mobility devices, said the plan provided to plan commissioners.

Rooms in the RCAC will range from studios to two-bedroom apartments. All units will have full kitchens with stoves and refrigerators, along with a private bathroom and shower.

CBRF rooms can be private or shared, while each room will house a bathroom and shower. There will also be assisted bathing areas, and up to 10 resident rooms will comprise each “household” within the CBRF, according to the plan.

The three-story portion of the facility follows city zoning codes, Censky said, in that the roof line was lowered to 35 feet after concerns arose during the developer’s initial presentation in May.

The complex will also include an underground parking garage with 51 parking stalls to be used by some residents. Surface parking will support an additional 79 spaces.

Exterior lighting will be a combination of pole-mounted and building mounted fixtures directing light downward.

Light fixtures on the islands within the parking lot would be set 20 feet high, and the lights along the interconnecting drive will be 15 feet high.

Redeemer Lutheran Church extended sanitary sewer and water pipes from the church to the parcel several years ago, Censky said, adding that the state Department of Transportation would allow access onto Wauwatosa Road provided no other access drive is created.

Denise Seyfer can be reached at .