Abbeyfield could find new use

The Housing Authority of Champaign County is looking at the former Abbeyfield property located on Peters Drive in St. Joseph.

Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges said the Housing Authority will be going through the planning and zoning commission to ask that a special use permit given to Abbeyfield to allow them to build an elderly housing facility.

Fruhling-Voges said there is still a fairly substantial punch list on the property that the village would want to be completed before allowing it to be occupied.

Before the building went into foreclosure the village asked Abbeyfield to complete a retention pond, address drainage concerns and install a fire hydrant.

“We want to make certain they know what is required of them that was not completed by Abbeyfield,” said Village Attorney Joe Lierman.

Lierman urged the board to have the Housing Authority go through the planning and zoning process and document everything.

Lierman said he believes the Housing Authority wants the housing to be low income assisted housing.  Lierman told the board that the housing being low-income was not reason enough to not approve the project.

“You wouldn’t want to cause a big issue over that because that could become a big problem for us,” he said.

Fruhling-Voges said the project could be similar to Abbeyfield which had 12 suites that would be 500 sq. feet and include a bedroom, bathroom, small sitting room and kitchenette.

The residents would share an all-purpose room to watch TV and socializing. They would also share a kitchen and dining area.

“But it could also be very different,” she said. “It would still be for senior housing. I will be curious to hear what they have to say moving forward and see how it fits into the plan.”


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