Oregon City Council Aug. 10 unanimously approved a major change in a site plan to allow an expansion of a nursing home, Heartland of Oregon, at 3953 Navarre Avenue.
The change was to an existing conditional use exception in an R-4 Planned Residential District for the purpose of increasing the total building area of more than 10 percent of the nursing home, according to Jim Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning inspection.
“It’s considered a major chance, which needs approval from the planning commission and also city council,” said Gilmore.
The proposal is for two additions, he said.
“One is 6,000 square feet, which will add 24 beds, and the second addition is for physical therapy. The total increase is 22 percent over the existing building area,” said Gilmore.
The property is located on the north side of Navarre, west of Lallendorf. The neighboring properties are zoned R2, R5 and C5, said Gilmore.
The planning commission approved the change with conditions, including approval by the public service director on final infrastructures, approval of a landscaping and buffering plan, approval of a final site plan, including setback requirements, screening the Dumpster, which should match the rest of the project, and matching the characteristics of construction elements of the existing building, according to Gilmore.
Council also authorized Mayor Marge Brown, Public Service Director Paul Roman and the Finance Director Kathy Hufford to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to accept a $64,391 Coastal Management Assistance Grant.
The grant will pay for nearly half of a $125,399 project to help protect water quality, and restore coastal habitat along Maumee Bay and Lake Erie’s Western Basin by establishing a riparian corridor/wetland system, according to Roman.
The project will help control bacterial contamination at the beaches at Maumee Bay State Park, which has a history of high E.coli levels. From 2000-2008, the beaches were posted for exceeding E. coli standards an average of 20 days per year, in a bathing season of about 100 days. High E. coli levels are considered a health threat and an economic liability for the park and the region.
Secondary pollutants the project will address are sediment and nutrients, especially phosphorus. Sediments are a concern because they cover stream and lake bottom habitat as they settle.
The Toledo/Lucas County Health Department tested septic systems extensively in the Wolf Creek watershed. Oregon constructed approximately 10 miles of sanitary sewers in the watershed since 2001, at a cost of $10.5 million. The sewers eliminated hundreds of septic systems and several package plants. Remaining E.coli sources include septic systems and package plants in the more sparsely developed areas, and other watershed sources can still contaminate the beaches.
In 2008, Hull & Associates completed a study for a riparian corridor/wetland system to protect Lake Erie beaches from contamination by capturing and treating bacteria in Wolf Creek.
The Hull report recommended a riparian corridor/wetland system in two phases: an upstream phase around property owned by Oregon, would capture sediment. The downstream section, on Maumee Bay State Park property, will provide additional settling and also biological treatment of the stream water in a wetland system.
The proposed wetland system would establish riparian habitat along Wolf Creek between North Curtice and Corduroy roads with over-wide or multi-stage stream channel designs that will help capture and kill bacteria in stream water, protecting beaches from contamination.
“E.coli would attach itself to sediment, and if it’s in a shallower area of the stream, and with the sun, that will kill E.coli,” said Roman. “Also, a part of the idea is to create an area where sediment would collect more, and simply hold the sediment back from going out into the bay. If the E.coli is attached to that, it’s staying in that holding area and not going out to the beaches of Maumee Bay State Park.”
The $125,399 project will implement the Hull report recommendations by:
• acquiring property or conservation easement for 5.5 acres along Wolf Creek in addition to 5.6 acres of riparian corridor Oregon already owns. Together, the properties will provide half a mile of riparian corridor for future stream restoration. “It will create buffers along the waterway that helps filter out sediment, pesticides or fertilizers. It will also make the creek much wider in terms of drainage capacity and improve drainage within Wolf Creek,” said Roman.
• identify funding for implementation of the Oregon and Maumee Bay State Park portions of the stream corridor, secure commitments to proceed with the projects, and for matching funds and in-kind resources.