Lutheran Community Home expanding

Lutheran Community Home in Seymour plans to increase its residential capacity by adding more independent-living options to its campus in the near future.

The project includes a 17-unit apartment building and a new duplex, additional parking for staff and volunteers and a new garage/maintenance building.

Jerry Cripps, architect and project manager with K2M Design in Indianapolis, recently went before the Seymour Plan Commission and city council to request the city rezone several properties owned by Lutheran Community Home to R-3 (multifamily residential) zoning.

Those properties are 111 Church Avenue, 1503 and 1505 S. Walnut St., 1428 Gaiser Drive, and 100, 204, 208, 300 and 304 W. Cardinal Drive. Some of the properties currently are zoned R-1 (single-family residential) and some are C-2 (commercial).

Both boards unanimously approved the rezone.

The request brings Lutheran Community Home’s zoning in line with the city’s current zoning classifications and allows for consistent zoning across all of their properties, said Gina Darlage with the city’s planning and zoning department.

Cripps said the projects are under design.

The apartments will be similar to the facility’s Church Avenue Manor Apartments, constructed in 1996. They will sit to the south of the existing assisted-living building and be accessed off of State Road 11 or South Walnut Street through the current staff parking lot.

Besides the apartments there will be supporting spaces in the building including a dining room and commercial kitchen.

Cripps said the new apartments will help meet market demand and current residents’ needs for independent-living options.

Lutheran Community Home already owns nine duplexes or garden homes on its campus, most of which are on Church Avenue. The new duplex will be constructed on an empty lot at the corner of Gaiser and Cardinal drives and will serve as the prototype for the future, Cripps said.

The old garden homes were not built to be handicapped accessible and over the years Lutheran Community Home has invested money into renovating them to bring them up to code.

Plans also call for a new garage/maintenance building to serve all of the properties. The building will have three vehicular bays and will store Lutheran Community Home’s bus.

David Crouch and his wife, Sally, have lived across the street from the Lutheran Community Home campus for 46 years. He brought up concerns about the look of the new maintenance facility.

He said he doesn’t want to see another pole barn erected.

Karyn Fleetwood, director of the Lutheran Community Home, said the new maintenance building will be more aesthetically pleasing to neighbors and the community than the existing building, which will be torn down.

The building will be a combination of brick and siding with a metal roof so that it blends in well with the neighborhood and maintains a residential feel, Cripps said.

Megan White said she and her family moved onto Cardinal Drive just more than a year ago and she was concerned with the increased traffic the development might cause in her neighborhood.

“Right now we have a relatively low traffic road and there are a lot of children in the neighborhood,” she said.

Cripps said he didn’t anticipate there would be much traffic impact on Cardinal Drive.

Plan commission President Don Myers Jr. said he was confident Lutheran Community Home would be true to their word.

“I think you can rest at ease that they aren’t going to allow something offensive to the neighborhood and the city,” he said. “Sometimes you just have to trust that they are going to do what they say they are going to do.”