- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Officials at an organization that provides services to those with disabilities are considering turning the nonprofit’s 80-acre Clear Lake campus into a senior living community.

Opportunity Village has transitioned many clients into surrounding communities in the last five years, the Globe Gazette (https://bit.ly/2lH8efz ) reported. That move was the result of a 1999 Supreme Court ruling that found people with disabilities have a right to live in a community instead of segregated settings.

The campus once housed 200 people, but has just over 40 residents today.

Officials proposed turning the campus into senior living after considering the property’s assets and discussing community needs with city leaders. The landscaped property has a pool and a community center.

“It also fit well with a senior living community and we think, if approved and developed, will certainly serve the community,” said Jeff Nichols, Opportunity Village CEO.

Opportunity Village Board President Vickie Snyder said the proposal is a way to better utilize the property.

“Most of our services are provided off-campus anyway,” Snyder said. “They’ll continue to be provided, and the Village will only continue to grow and provide services for the disabled.”

Snyder said the proposal wouldn’t require clients who currently live at Opportunity Village to move.

Nichols declined to release details of the plan, which hasn’t been approved, but said it calls for a variety of housing options at the development.

A timeline hasn’t been released for development, which would occur in stages.

“It will be over a long period of time, so it will be different pieces and phases of it,” Nichols said.

The agency’s board of directors will consider the proposal at its Feb. 20 meeting.


Information from: Globe Gazette, https://www.globegazette.com/

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