WINCHESTER — A nursing home that was never built after its zoning was approved by City Council seven years ago is once again on Winchester’s radar.

Council tonight is expected to vote on a conditional-use permit (CUP) that would allow Winchester-based Long Term Care Properties LLC to build Hampton Manor of Winchester at 940 Cedar Creek Grade, a 7.7-acre tract of land zoned Highway Commercial (B-2) with a Corridor Enhancement District overlay that currently includes a vacant single-family house, barn and garage. The parcel, just inside of Winchester’s border with Frederick County, is surrounded by private residences.

When council approved the property’s zoning in November 2014, it was intended to accommodate a nursing facility called Cedar Creek Place. Accordingly, the zoning included a series of proffers limiting the site’s future development to a nursing home or assisted-living operation with a maximum of 120 beds.

A few months later, in early 2015, City Council approved a CUP giving Cedar Creek Place the green light for construction of a 76,000-square-foot facility with 120 beds. However, Long Term Care Properties failed to move forward with the project and the CUP has since expired.

The nursing home was actually the second iteration of Cedar Creek Place. In late 2013, the project was pitched as a 132-unit apartment complex. When concerns regarding the proposed development were raised by the Winchester Planning Commission, Long Term Care Properties ditched the apartments and instead proposed a fully staffed nursing home and assisted-living facility.

Even though Cedar Creek Place never materialized in any form, the property’s zoning status has remained intact. That means Long Term Care Properties could build the Hampton Manor nursing home by right as long as it agreed to limit the size of the structure to 20,000 square feet — a building’s maximum allowable size in one of Winchester’s Corridor Enhancement Districts. However, the property owner wants a single-level building that is slightly more than 80,000 square feet in size, so council would have to issue another CUP that waives the property’s size restriction.

According to documentation submitted to City Council by Painter-Lewis PLC of Winchester, Hampton Manor would be laid out in a square fronting Cedar Creek Grade and would fill approximately half of the 7.7-acre site. Even though the building would be slightly larger than what was proposed for Cedar Creek Place, it would have fewer beds — 107 versus the 120 in the original plans.

Last month, the city’s Planning Commission and Planning and Economic Development Committee both recommended approval of the CUP application that will be the subject of a public hearing during City Council’s business meeting at 6 p.m. today in Rouss City Hall. The meeting is open to the public but attendees will be required to wear face masks at all times. The session can also be streamed live at winchesterva.civicweb.net.

Council’s business meetings are usually followed by a work session, but tonight’s session has been canceled due to a lack of agenda items. However, a special executive session will be held in private at 5:30 p.m. to conduct the annual performance evaluation of City Manager Dan Hoffman.

— Contact Brian Brehm at bbrehm@winchesterstar.com

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