HENDERSON (FOX5) -- People who live near the site of an approved assisted-living facility in Henderson are fuming over its size.
“We got screwed royally by our city council who chose to come together with a big developer to fundamentally change our community,” neighbor Stephen Stubbs said.
After approval from the Henderson City Council, developers say they will build a three-story assisted-living facility called Bristlecone Pine near the intersection of Horizon Ridge Parkway and Mission Drive.
“The property that’s proposed here is large. It’s very large. It’s a very large structure,” neighbor Lacey Smith said.
Residents point out the only other comparable building of that size in the area is Fiesta Casino.
So far, nearby residents have collected approximately 250 signatures from like-minded neighbors who oppose the facility.
“There are a number of assisted living facilities in our neighborhood and we love them. As a community we embrace them. They’re amazing neighbors," Stubbs said. "But you know what? They’re one story and they fit the community."
Area residents accuse Henderson Councilwoman Michelle Romero of selling them out.
Stubbs and Smith said Romero visited them and advised them on the best course of action to fight the project but voted in favor of it at the Oct. 1 city council meeting.
“We then find out that she has a personal relationship with the builder going back two decades. And that an employee of the builder is one of her main donors for her campaign,” Stubbs said.
Romero was not available for an interview, but in a letter to one of the neighbors Romero said her vote had nothing to do with the developer.
In the letter obtained by FOX5, Romero went on to say she based her decision on city code and the facts available to her.
Despite a request for comment, FOX5 has not heard back from Bristlecone Pine developer Green Leaf Capitol Partners.
The following is a statement released by the city of Henderson:
The Comprehensive Plan land use designation for the property on which Bristlecone Pine is proposed has been Commercial since 1996. That year, City Council approved a conforming zone change to Neighborhood Commercial for a proposed gas station and several office/retail buildings. The gas station with a convenience store was built in 1999 but the office/retail portion was never built. Bristlecone Pine complies with the requirements outlined in the Development Code and is the lowest-intensity use for this site. The project provides a transitional use between the existing gas station and the low-intensity single-family homes to the south and assists in the development of a uniquely challenging property that has remained vacant despite periods of high economic growth. Councilwoman Romero listened to the neighbor’s concerns and worked with the developer to lessen the impact of the project, which included reducing the scope by 14 units, lowering the building by one story and mimicking the architectural design of the area. The City must also comply with the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits municipalities from making zoning or land use decisions or implementing land use policies that discriminate against individuals with disabilities, or we risk losing grant funds or being fined by the federal government.
It is unclear when developers will begin breaking ground.