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Developer seeks 70-bed nursing home


A Catonsville developer doesn't expect problems in winning an Anne Arundel County hearing officer's approval for a 70-bed nursing home he wants to build on an old salvage yard in Severna Park.

"The county said that this is the best use for it," said Matthew C. Decker of the Cypress Cove General Partnership. "It's the perfect use for it."

A hearing before Administrative Hearing Officer Robert C. Wilcox is set for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

The 2 1/2 -story home would be built on 3.7 acres at 831 Ritchie Highway. The site, owned by Fred and Eva Schwerer of Catonsville, also would have 30 parking spaces when developed.

Along with his general request, Mr. Decker is asking for several variances. One involves putting his sign within a required 10-foot zone. County zoning codes say any sign advertising a nursing center must be at least 10 feet from the road. But the nursing home's location behind the Great American Carwash and Colonial Auto Parts would leave it with little frontage, Mr. Decker said.

"It's waterfront," he said. "It's between two commercial buildings, but it's on a peninsula. It's isolated. It's a great location."

Mr. Decker said the Schwerers had a contract in 1988 to build four single-family homes on their land, but their developer went bankrupt. Putting homes on the lots now would be too expensive, he said. Linking water and sewer lines would cost almost $200,000.

Mr. Decker promised that the nursing home would blend in with area residences.

"We're going to try to have a water theme to it," he said. "Maybe have a miniature lighthouse in the back or something. We're going to make it attractive."

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