By Jessica Mathews /

A new nursing home and senior living facility has been approved in the City of Howell after years of delays, in-part due to the pandemic.

The Planning Commission granted site plan and special land use approval for the Maple Manor development located on a roughly 8-acre site off M-59. It’s proposed by Evangelista Development, which operates other facilities in Novi and Wayne.

The facility will consist of a single-story building with 61,466-square-feet of floor area and four residential wings. City Councilwoman Jan Lobur serves as the liaison to the Planning Commission and provided an update on the project at last week’s Council meeting.

Lobur reported that the Commission approved the site plan and special land use for Maple Manor with a few modifications to the original site plan. She said those included going from a two-story to a one-story building, adding a small gazebo on the eastern side of the property and adding outdoor seating in place of 30-deferred parking places.

The project had been approved a couple of times previously but was delayed and prior approvals expired. A two-story building was originally proposed in 2018 but the applicants later committed to the one-story building, which they stated has an identical footprint but would have less impact on the surrounding Gallery Park neighborhood.

At a meeting in January, a group of residents who live there raised various concerns about the poor condition of the site, the lengthy project delay, past building height, a lack of buffering, and a general lack of action over three years among others. At that time, the applicants acknowledged concerns and stated they were committed to the community and constructing a quality project.

Sixty residential units with 110 total beds are proposed. 50 will be two-bed units and 10 single-bed units. 15 of the two-bed units are intended as independent living residences, and the remaining single and two-bed units will be skilled nursing facility residences.

Resident services will be provided in the center portion of the building, which will include a dining area/day room, kitchen, medical, and therapy facilities, as well as rooms for the facility’s staff and various operations.

A memo noted that the applicant has not been able to secure necessary approvals for an offsite stormwater scenario for the previous plan that was conditionally approved, thus plans were modified to have all stormwater facilities on-site.