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Senior assisted-living residence proposed

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A St. Paul company has plans to open a 41-room, assisted-living residence for senior citizens in Hudson.

If approved by the Hudson City Council, the facility would be built on the west side of Heggen Street at Hosford Street, south of the Hudson post office.

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The company seeking to open the facility, Comforts of Home Assisted Living, already owns and operates similar residences at two locations in Chippewa Falls, two locations in St. Croix Falls, and at Baldwin.

It plans to open two new homes in Hugo, Minn., and a renovated building in Frederic later this year.

Rothstein told the Hudson Plan Commission on April 8 that a staff of certified health care employees working three eight-hour shifts per day would serve residents of the facility. Three to five people would work each shift.

"We offer 24-hour care and provide everything the residents want and need, like health care, home-cooked meals, whirlpool spas, housekeeping, laundry, and beauty shop and manicures," Rothstein said in a letter to Dennis Darnold, the city's community development director.

Rothstein said Comforts of Home selected the Heggen Street site for its "exceptional natural beauty." He said the two-level building with a footprint of 10,432 square feet would "fit nicely into contours of the land."

Architect Matt Frisbie said the exterior of the building would be hardy plank siding in earth-tone colors. It would have an asphalt-single roof. Natural stone would be used for the retaining walls.

The Plan Commission recommended approval of a conditional use permit and concept development plans for the residence following a public hearing on the proposal. The property already is zoned for multi-family housing.

The commission gave its approval on the condition that final development plans incorporate recommendations from the city engineer and the Hudson Fire Department.

During the public hearing, Bill Weber, who lives on Hazel Crest Drive west of the proposed facility, expressed concern about trees being removed from the site.

Darnold said later that the trees on the west-facing slope of the parcel would be preserved. He said the trees on the flat area on the northeast side of the property would have to be removed to accommodate the building.

The trees also would have been removed to make way for nine townhouse units that were previously proposed for the site, Darnold said. He said the city was going to require the developer of the townhouses to plant additional trees on the north side of the building, and would have prevented the cutting of trees on the west side.

Commissioner Carah Koch said the number of trees removed should be kept to a minimum.

Rothstein said that Comforts of Home wants to save as many trees as possible to provide a pleasing atmosphere for residents.

Commissioner Fred Yoerg said care should be given to designing the access to the facility since many of the motorists visiting it would be elderly.

Rothstein said that only 5 percent of the residents of Comforts of Home's existing residences are still using their cars.

The City Council was scheduled to take up Comfort of Home's application for a conditional use permit for the residence on April 19. The meeting was cancelled, however, because not enough members for a quorum could attend.

The council is expected to act on the application at its May 3 meeting.

Randy Hanson can be reached at rhanson@rivertowns.net.

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Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
(715) 426-1066
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