New dementia facility proposed

Oxford, a certified retirement community, may be offering one more form of security for those looking to grow old here.

Orion Partners garnered a special zoning exception and a site plan approval for The Dorchester, a 32-unit, 46-bed care facility to be built just off South Lamar Boulevard near Azalea Drive, which would be devoted to people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss.

City Planner Andrea Correll cited her own family experience in telling Planning Commission members, “These kinds of facilities are very much needed.”

Planned as a 28,400-square-foot building on 3.23 acres, the site is zoned Professional Business and lies near physicians’ offices and The Azaleas planned unit development, which includes freestanding single-family homes as well as retirement and assisted-living apartments.

The Dorchester, said project engineer Paul Koshenina, “would be the only facility in Oxford dedicated to the care of people with Alzheimer’s and other memory loss. They’re totally focused on memory care, not assisted living.” (Three facilities in Oxford provide Alzheimer’s care along with other forms of long-term care.)

When one neighboring resident raised concerns that granting the special zoning exception would open the area to intrusive types of businesses, Correll assured commission members, “They are your quietest neighbors.” The horseshoe-shaped building will have 41 parking spaces for staff and visitors.

Approval for the site plan was given with one reservation: The Dorchester’s building permit will be approved after Oxford Public Works renders its stormwater drainage calculations.

Twitter: @oxfordcitizenec

About Errol Castens

I'm a news reporter and columnist for the Daily Journal and the Oxford Citizen. Focusing on Oxford and Lafayette County, I've been a part of the L-O-U community since 1991.