Planning board put hold on Assisted Living Facility

The Red Lodge Planning Board voted to table the design review and conditional use permit indefinitely for a proposed assisted living facility at the old Beartooth Billings Clinic Hospital. The board wants the applicant, Paul Harrison of Clare Care, to address certain issues concerning sewer and storm water run off, ADA including the sidewalks around the property, lighting, landscaping and parking plans. They asked specifically for professionally prepared documents on all the issues.

The board made their decision because they were “not comfortable in making a decision on the information presented to them.”

One member said that this presentation “comes no where close” to the “usual professionally prepared packages.”

The proposal by 6 Assisted Living to use the former hospital, a 46,000 square foot two-story structure within 1.8 acres, and house up to 30 residents and have 20 staff working there, has nearby residents concerned about sewer and water run off, increased traffic in the area, excessive lighting, and rooms too small to accommodate living space.

Harrison, Administrator and Operations Manager for Clare Care, was on hand to hear all comments at the meeting, held April 9.

The main concern covered the issue of the sewer pipe as the board heard the building has a history of problems in this area. They suggested the use of a grinder and a scoping camera plus a decision from Public Works on the present condition of the building’s 4-inch sewer pipe.

Despite some heated views on the reuse of the building, several members of the board said the concept of an assisted living facility was “admirable” and a “valid use for that facility” and that it “should be used.”

Regarding the concern about asbestos, the board said the City Council would have to get a building inspector to address this issue.

The next Planning Board meeting will be May 14 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.