A new memory care unit for the Orchard in Ridgeland will be one-story, as opposed to the three-story building that was originally proposed.
A new memory care unit for the Orchard in Ridgeland will be one-story, as opposed to the three-story building that was originally proposed.
RIDGELAND — A new memory care facility at the Orchard has been approved after previous drainage issues that may have put water on nearly homes were addressed.

Community Development Director Alan Hart said that he is satisfied with the changes presented by the developers.

“I think this design resolves all of our primary issues,” Hart said.

The item was initially pulled from the last meeting in November after concerns were raised by a new direction the project was taking. Concerns specifically included drainage which city officials felt would exacerbate ongoing issues of water collecting in the neighborhood to the rear of the development known as Enclave Circle.

Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith said at the previous meeting that he did not want the new development putting “water in people's homes.”

Revisions to the site plan and architectural review included about 20 feet of curb, a detention pond and some reshuffling of the landscaping.

Stephen Baldwyn presented the project for the Orchard.

Aldermen unanimously approved the item 6-0 on the consent agenda. Ward 3 Alderman and Mayor Pro Tempore, led the meeting due to Mayor Gene McGee’s absence because of illness. 

Hart said in November that the Orchard was before the board because his office had issued a stop-work order after the project appeared to be proceeding outside of the bounds of previously approved plans. 

Most notably, Hart said at the time, a section of trees the development had said they would preserve had been cut down. Developers said at that meeting that they planned to replace the trees as part of the project's landscape plan. 

After doing some cost analysis and value engineering, the designers said, they had also made considerable changes to the shape and purpose of the proposed building.

“It started with them receiving a conditional use for a three-story building,” Hart said last month. “After cost analysis, they have made the building a one-story memory care facility.” 

The expansion was first billed to the city as an expansion of their existing memory care facility known as the Rose Garden. 

The project was back before the board because the changes were significant enough to warrant new approval.   

It was the first time the project, which has been in the works since the end of 2017, has hit a snag.

As of July, the expansion project planned to include the renovation and refinancing of an existing 196-unit continuing care retirement community and the acquisition, construction and furnishing of a new 101-unit facility on land adjacent to the current facility.

The project first came before the board in December 2017. At that time, Ward 4 Alderman Brian Ramsey said that he had heard nothing but praise from the community and an adjacent homeowners association about the positive impact The Orchard had on the community.

More recently, the board voted in May to approve the closing and vacating of an unimproved 40-foot roadway easement near the facility.