By Jessica Creagan
SEBASTIAN -- Earlier this month, the Sebastian City Council approved a special residential zoning exemption that could allow for future affordable housing for seniors in the city.
During the Nov. 13 meeting, the council unanimously voted to raise the development density of a 7.4-acre property just north of the Publix shopping center at U.S. 1 and Barber Street in Sebastian. The property was zoned as commercial general with an allowable eight units per acre, but the council's action bumped up the density level to 12 units per acre.
The applicant, Wayne Sinclair, spoke to the council and the audience about his project, describing it as an affordable housing project for seniors that goes above and beyond the normal housing requirements.
Mr. Sinclair said the project is expected to cost $18.2 million and will require 39 employees to run full time. The project, Avery Way Apartments, is designed to be a three-story apartment complex with community rooms for a library and computers, as well as classes available on computer use and family genealogy tracing.
Other optional services offered would include laundry, transportation, medication reminders and housekeeping, Mr. Sinclair said.
Councilwoman Andrea Coy said she was glad to see a project like this coming to Sebastian, as there are not enough affordable housing for seniors in the community.
Some members of the public said it sounded like an assisted living facility, but Mr. Sinclair said the apartment community did not meet the mandate requirements of an assisted living complex, but it would have some of the optional services that an assisted living place would traditionally offer its residents.
During the meeting, all the council voted on was to approve the special exemption for the use of the property. Mr. Sinclair will be presenting further details of the construction and use to the planning and zoning board before coming back before Sebastian City Council for further permissions, said Joe Griffin, city airport director and interim city manager beginning Dec. 12.
For more information about city government meetings and agendas, visit www.cityofsebastian.org.