Fairview Independent Living Facility: Quality of Life for our Aging Population

As I mentioned, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary this past weekend.  This is a photo from our wedding–it’s me with our grandmother.


You can hear me talk about her and where she lives on the audio of the 10-8-19 meeting.  That’s part of the discussion prior to the vote to approve the proposed Major Change for the Fairview Park Independent Living Facility.  This change allows the facility to increase the footprint of the development in order to provide a number of amenities to future residents.  These include a bistro,
open restaurant, private dining area, library, digital lounge, salon, exercise room, movie theater, activity spaces, and an indoor swimming pool with locker and changing rooms. Sounds nice, right? I think so. I know that our grandmother lives at a place with amenities like that, and it offers her a higher quality of life than she might otherwise have.  I think our aging Simpsonville residents deserve that quality of life, too, and we should provide it to them.  Especially when adding to the square footage will only increase the number of Peak Hour Trips by 7.


Here are more details about the request, which was approved by the Planning COmmission before coming to Council COmmittee. Council asked for additional information before making a final decision at the 10-8 Business Meeting.

Pursuant to Section 2.11.7 of the Simpsonville Zoning Ordinance, the property owner of the Fairview Park Independent Living Facility ID, has requested a major change to the previously approved statement of intent (SOI). Because this requested change directly affects the SOI, approval from City Council will be required for this petition. The original statement of intent for this project indicated that the facility would be developed to provide a variety of care needs. The facility would contain 80 units within an 85,000 sq. foot, three-story building. The new owner of this parcel is looking to increase the unit count to 108 units and expanding the square footage to 115,215.
The City’s comprehensive plan identifies the area of this tract of land as “medium intensity neighborhood” meaning that the City envisioned this area would preserve and enhance existing neighborhoods while promoting a wider range of housing formats and a walkable neighborhood design. As a primary land use, this designation accommodates housing types ranging from small-lot, singlefamily detached dwellings to attached single family dwellings such as townhomes. Secondary land uses include multi-family development.

Per Section 2.11.1 of the Simpsonville Zoning Ordinance: “The ID, Innovative Development District is established to provide flexibility in the planning and construction of development projects in accordance with an approved plan. In return for greater flexibility in site design requirements, innovative developments are expected to demonstrate exceptional quality community designs that:
A. Preserve critical environmental resources;
B. Provide above-average open space amenities;
C. Demonstrate innovate and creative site planning techniques that improve upon the layout and
design of buildings, open space and circulation that would otherwise be achieved by the
standards of other allowable zoning districts;
D. Assure compatibility with surrounding land uses and neighborhood character; and
E. Provide greater efficiency in the layout and provision of roads, utilities, and other infrastructure.
This district provides a mechanism to evaluate each application on its own merit. Some concepts may be more appropriate in certain locations than others; therefore, the approval of an application in one location does not necessarily mean that the design of the development would automatically be appropriate in other locations.”
A public hearing regarding this petition was conducted on September 3, 2019, before the body of the Simpsonville Planning Commission. There were no public comments expressed at the hearing.
The Simpsonville Planning Commission has reviewed this request for a major change at their September 3, 2019 meeting. By a vote of 6-0, the Planning Commission recommends approval of this major change.
Expanding the square footage of the building will allow more units but will also allow for quality amenities for the residents. The revised Statement of Intent indicates the amenities include a bistro, open restaurant, private dining area, second floor bar with overlook balcony, library, digital lounge, salon, exercise room, movie theater, activity spaces, and an indoor swimming pool with locker and changing rooms.