Designers of a planned three-story senior living complex in Gilbert are trying to create an illusion to appease concerned homeowners nearby. Sunrise Senior Living has redesigned the complex to look like a two-story building, in response to dozens of residents in the Lago Estancia homeowners association who had protested the plans.
Residents living adjacent to the property at Gilbert Road and Long Meadow Drive have urged it be made two stories to fit in better with their one- and two-story homes.
And on June 15, the town’s Design Review Board asked Sunrise officials to modify plans to make the three stories appear less imposing to residents.
In response, architects brought the roof from 39 feet to 36 feet.
And in the assistedliving building closest to the homes, the third floor is set back eight feet farther from neighbors than the second floor on the north and west sides.
Because of that configuration, the roofline runs the length of the third floor to the top of the second floor to make the building appear to be a two-story complex with attic windows.
Lynne Lagarde, the developer’s zoning attorney, said the building is drastically needed in Gilbert, and will be a peaceful setting for seniors largely in their 80s.
“The need is enormous to produce this kind of facility,” she said. “You’re going to need more of these.”
But residents argue that the town planners should not have even allowed the building to be considered, since town code requires developments be “appropriate” and fit in nicely into a neighborhood.
“The builder shouldn’t even have been able to submit this,” resident Rich Carroll said.
The Design Review Board meets 5:30 p.m. Thursday at 50 E. Civic Center Drive, to consider approving the redrawn proposal.