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Senior community to re-create traditional neighborhood feel

A Camp Hill senior-care company is putting a new spin on a
cutting-edge residential development concept.

A Camp Hill senior-care company is putting a new spin on a
cutting-edge residential development concept.

PHI, parent company of nonprofit Presbyterian Homes Inc.,
has put together a plan for a retirement community in Carroll
Township, York County,
that incorporates traditional neighborhood design (TND) concepts. TNDs emphasize
pedestrian-friendly layouts, a mix of residential and commercial space and
proximity to established urban centers.

Steve Proctor, chief executive officer at PHI, said seniors
want to spend their retirement in places that have the same feeling of community
and neighborhood as the houses they left behind. PHI’s Carroll Village
would do just that, he said.

“If you want a place to get away from things, this isn’t the
place,” Proctor said. “You have to deal with a person’s social component.
Living alone isn’t a fulfilling life.”

The idea began when Proctor was looking for a place to build
a new retirement community. He found some property along Route 15 near
Dillsburg, but there was a catch. The property owner had two parcels to sell,
and they were a package deal.

“Our original intention was to build single-senior housing
on five acres,” Proctor said. “We ended up with 65 acres.”

Village will blend
commercial and office space on the same campus with different housing options
for seniors: apartments, 50 single-family homes, 12 duplexes and some manor
homes. Each manor home will house four separate living units.

Schartner House, an affordable-housing apartment complex for
seniors, was the first piece of the project to be completed. Rents for the 50
units range from $230 to $750 per month and include underground parking.
PinnacleHealth System will have a building for a physician’s office, a
physical-therapy practice and a medical-imaging center. It should be finished
this summer. PHI will move its offices to the second floor.

Construction is about to begin on a third building, which
will contain another 42 apartments for seniors. Proctor expects construction to
begin this summer on another combination apartment/commercial building for fall
2009 completion.

Plans also include a restaurant, recreation center and two
assisted-living buildings. A farm house dating to around 1840 might be turned
into a bed and breakfast. Proctor estimates that the entire project will be
completed in six to eight years. It could employ several hundred people to
operate the different businesses and community-service organizations expected
to fill retail and office space.

Sally Holbert, principal and landscape architect with Land
Logics Group in Camp Hill, was a member of the design team for Carroll Village. She hopes this type of mixed
use will catch on.

“Not a lot of people know about TNDs,” Holbert said. “A lot
of the codes in Pennsylvania
don’t allow mixed use. Carroll Village was in the conceptual design phase when Carroll Township changed its codes to allow

One community organization considering a move into Carroll Village is the Northern York Community
Services Foundation. Its office is run by two part-time employees in the
Dillsburg Borough municipal building. Its community programs are held inside
the Sports and Learning
Center and a school
building in Dillsburg.

“Carroll Village will become the new center for activities in Carroll Township,” said Gary Brown, president of
the foundation. “If we move there, we’ll run programs for senior citizens. But
we hope to continue using the places where we now hold programs.”

Ron Barth, president and chief executive officer of PANPHA,
has mentioned the Carroll
Village concept to others
and gets positive responses. The Mechanicsburg-based group is an association of
nonprofit senior services.

“It’s definitely a future trend,” Barth said. “It keeps
people in the community. It’s less institutionalized.”

Technology advances are allowing people to live in their
homes longer using monitoring devices and medication prompts, Barth said,
eliminating the need for some to move into a skilled-care facility. The average
stay in a nursing home in Pennsylvania
is less than six months, he said.

“The days of the old nursing home are really gone already,”
Barth said.

Lori Dunkle, director of marketing and sales at The Woods at
Cedar Run, a retirement community in Camp Hill, said that people are looking
for more amenities, similar to what Carroll
Village will offer.

“We have the community aspect, but we’re smaller,” she said.
“It’s the same concept.”

Douglas Motter, president of Homestead
Village near Lancaster,
has driven by the Carroll
Village site and likes
the fact that older adults who live there will continue to be a part of the
community. He thinks this type of TND is the wave of the future as the baby
boomers head into their senior years.

“PHI is pretty innovative in developing that,” Motter said.
“They are a visionary. The variety of options for seniors need to continue to
expand. Carroll Village is another option.”

<b>About Land Logics Group</b>

Services offered: Land planning, urban design

Headquarters: Camp Hill

Management: Sally Holbert, founding principal

Number of employees: 8

2007 revenue: Approximately $500,000

Revenue growth 2006 to 2007: Approximately 30 percent

History: Land Logics Group firm was formed in 2003. The
firm’s focus has been to offer alternatives to suburban sprawl patterns and
promote smart-growth techniques. Holbert, a landscape architect, has more than
18 years of experience in planning and design, along with an extensive
background in environmental planning and analysis. Land Logics Group has worked
with communities in York, Cumberland, Lancaster and Centre
counties on comprehensive-planning projects. Current work includes Safe Routes
to School projects in Carlisle and
Mechanicsburg and land surveying for PennDOT projects, nonprofit organizations
and various commercial and residential builders. The firm also is managing two
projects related to water-resources protection. 

“The success of our past projects has created many
word-of-mouth opportunities that have allowed us to grow along with focused
marketing and networking,” Holbert said.

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