Wheeling Planning Commission Gives Good Shepherd Nursing Home Preliminary OK for Parking Lot

Photo by Joselyn King The Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Wheeling, at left, plans to tear down the structure on property it owns across the street at 160 Edgington Lane, right, then build a parking lot and crosswalk leading to the main entrance.

The Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Wheeling seeks to build more convenient parking for visitors across the street from the facility, and will also take down at least one existing home in the process.

Administrator Donald Kirsch presented the nursing home’s plan to increase parking before the Wheeling Planning Commission this week. The plan was approved by a vote of 4-1, with Councilwoman Wendy Scatterday objecting. It will still need to gain approval by Wheeling City Council.

Good Shepherd owns property at 160 Edgington Lane across from the nursing home. Kirsch told the board Good Shepherd plans to tear down the existing structure on the property that was damaged by flooding earlier this year, and create a lot that will initially have 13 to 15 parking spaces.

Good Shepherd also will work to purchase the adjacent properties at 158 and 158 1/2 Edgington Lane to make an even larger lot, Kirsch said. In total, this would create parking for as many as 50 vehicles.

The nursing home also will petition the Wheeling Traffic Commission for a stop sign to be on the corner of the nursing home property near the main entrance on Edgington Lane. The stop sign would make that intersection with Damien and Storch streets a 4-way stop. In addition, Good Shepherd will seek a crosswalk in the area.

The average age of the 190 residents at Good Shepherd is 88, and many of their visitors also are that age, he said. While Good Shepherd has a parking lot at the southwest end of the building, it can make for a very long walk within the 175,000 square-foot facility, depending on where the resident lives.

Good Shepherd presently has seven entrances for visitors and employees, but will close these under new security policies. Visitors will ring a buzzer to be permitted in the main entrance, and employees will be issued badges that will serve as key cards for entry.

“Unfortunately our world has changed,” Kirsch said. “One of the reasons we would like to have this parking is to direct visitors to our main entrance, so they can be vetted before they gain access to the remainder of the building.”

Scatterday expressed concerns about a parking lot being constructed within a residential area.

“Land use maps, and future land use maps, have this area designated for quite a distance as only residential,” she said. “I’m concerned changing this amounts to almost a zone change.

“I want to be sensitive to that, and to what we have, as well as the safety issues,” Scatterday said. “I don’t see this as a clear way forward.”

Chairman James Mauck Jr. and members Martha Wright, Howard Gamble and Christie Contraguerro voted in favor of granting Good Shepherd a special-use permit and accepting its site plan. Member Russell “Rusty” Jebbia was not present.

Also during the Planning Commission meeting this week, members began discussion pertaining to a special-use permit for 1913 Warwood Ave. Mauck recused himself from the discussion, explaining he lives across the street from the property and would be affected by the commission’s decision. With Jebbia absent, this left four voting members present, and four are needed for a quorum.

But as developer Alex Coogan began to describe his plans for the property, Contraguerro unexpectedly left the meeting without notifying anyone. She could not be reached for comment.

The commission has rescheduled the public hearing for the special-use permit at 1913 Warwood Ave. to take place during a special meeting set for 5 p.m. Monday.

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