Board denies special exceptionBy MEGAN PHILLIPS,
The memory care facility seeking a special exception to build in Madison was denied by the planning and zoning commission, but the decision can be appealed to the mayor and board of aldermen on May 15.
The facility has been in the works since December 2015, when the city approved the preliminary plat, site plan and architectural review. In recent months, Mainland Companies LLC has been trying to get approval of a special exception request from the planning and zoning commission.
The request was denied April 9.
If appealed by the mayor and board, the new facility would be a residential location for persons with brain injury or memory deficiencies and be located on Mannsdale Park Drive, next to Circle Seven and Beagle Bagel.
The item was on last week’s city board agenda, but attorney Dale Danks said no action was taken but to set a date for the appeal.
“What was done is that a date was set for the matter to be presented on appeal… to the board of aldermen,” he said. “There was no other action taken on the memory care.”
On April 9, the planning and zoning commission held a two-hour hearing concerning the possible new facility.
“The Memory Care corporate representatives appeared with their attorney, James Peden Jr., and Mr. Peden managed the case for his client before the commission,” Planning and Zoning Commission Director John Reeves said. “Dale Danks, city attorney, was there on behalf of the city.”
Reeves said the Memory Care representatives presented photographs of a similar facility in a different state and discussed specifics of what would be offered at the Mannsdale Park Drive location and why the facility should be able to move forward in the development process.
“Essentially, the representatives put forth the proposition that America is aging, and the aging population is experiencing a greater incident of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and that there’s a need for a facility like that,” Reeves said.
There were a number of comments from the commissioners of Madison planning and zoning, according to Reeves, but the main concerns lay with the high traffic count on Mississippi Highway 463.
“The bottom line is… there were deep concerns about the location. Highway 463 is the busiest thoroughfare in Madison, in the city. Thousands of cars pass there daily, and this is a facility for persons with compromised (mental faculties). It would be terribly dangerous if a patient were to exit the facility and wind up on that thoroughfare.”
Reeves said that across the nation, there have been incidents of persons with dementia and other cognitive disabilities going missing as well as getting injured or dying from traffic accidents.
Mainland Companies will be able to appeal the planning and zoning commission’s denial to the mayor and board of aldermen on May 15.