ST. GEORGE — A new senior living community that includes a mix of assisted and independent living units is slated to begin construction in St. George this summer.
During a public meeting Tuesday, the St. George Planning Commission recommended approval of preliminary plans for the 258-unit facility called Legacy Village to be built on a 9-acre parcel of land on Dixie Drive just south of Canyon View Drive and northwest of Star Nursery.
The facility, which is currently anticipated for completion in 2021, is about 270,000 square feet in size and includes 119 independent living units and 139 assisted living units. The assisted living units will have varying levels of care.
“We’re not only accommodating the needs of couples who maintain an active independent lifestyle but also providing assistance for residents who may need dementia-related care,” said Brad Miles of Western States Lodging, the company behind the development.
Western States has been developing and operating hotels and senior communities since 1996 in Utah, Nevada, Arizona and several other states.
The community will offer two-bedroom, one-bedroom and studio floor plans. The larger units will have full kitchens and laundry rooms with balconies or porches, and the dementia care units will be in a secured, private area of the community.
The facility will be one building, but it will be divided into three areas to serve independent, assisted and memory care. Each area will have its own courtyard with trees and other landscaping. There are also plans for a swimming pool in one portion of the community.
During a previous St. George City Council meeting wherein a zone change was approved for the facility, Miles said the memory care units are secured in order to mitigate the possibility of a resident with dementia wandering off the property.
“This will be a Type II assisted living facility, which in the state of Utah allows us to provide for memory care or dementia care,” Miles explained. “As part of the requirements from the state to be able to do that, memory care residents will need to be in a secure area themselves so they cannot walk out and wander.
“However, that is why we provide the nice courtyards,” Miles said. “All of our residents can go to a secure, safe place and feel like they have a nice amenity. Also, their families who are worried about mom and dad in these facilities feel good that they’re in a safe place.”
The assisted living areas will be equipped to provide care in a home-like setting that provides personal and health care services 24 hours per day to the residents.
The independent living areas will provide laundry and housekeeping services, onsite dining facilities, some transportation assistance and a variety of activities and events. Unlike the assisted living portion, they will not have full-time staff dedicated to providing custodial or medical care.
“Independent living provides opportunities for the resident to create more relationships with other residents and enjoy a higher quality of life than if they lived alone and with many of the responsibilities that come with home ownership or a typical apartment,” Western Estates said in a narrative about the development.
The company says the facility will be staffed with housekeepers, chefs, waiters, receptionists, CNAs, marketing directors, maintenance directors, a resident care coordinator and an executive director, among other positions.
During the City Council meeting at which the zone change for the development was approved, Councilman Joe Bowcutt expressed some concern about traffic control in that area of Dixie Drive and recommended a deceleration lane be installed leading into the development.
Miles said the company is coordinating with a road builder and a deceleration lane is in the plans for the development.
Some grading has already been performed on the area of the development, and construction is anticipated to begin in late summer. In the meantime, the preliminary plans for the development still need to be approved by the City Council at an upcoming meeting.
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