2012-09-06 / Front Page

City of Washington takes steps to allow senior housing development to be built

The Washington City Council has voted to take the next steps to allow a private company to build a senior housing development in an undeveloped wooded area in Washington near the old high school complex on Gordon Street.

In a special session Friday morning, the council voted unanimously to abandon an unopened portion of Pope Street, and agreed to consider proposals to purchase and develop an old cemetery parcel in the same area. City maps have long shown that Pope Street extends into the wooded area north of Gordon Street, but the street was never actually built into the area.

For some months, Foxwood Senior Apartments in Ft. Valley has planned Foxwood Senior Village, a senior housing development off Gordon Street and Depot Street, with streets, sidewalks, and new affordable housing built well into the wooded area north of Gordon Street. To complete the land acquisition, the city had to abandon the never-used portion of Pope Street.

The property was advertised, and Foxwood was the only bidder, thus culminating their efforts to acquire the needed property.

Maps also show an undeveloped cemetery in the area. This summer, an archaeological survey of a marked cemetery site in the area turned up only one apparent grave site. Although it is not confirmed, the grave may be that of Sarah Hillhouse, a noted citizen of Washington in the 1800s.

City council members asked what the city’s responsibility would be to the single old grave in the area, and City Attorney Barry Fleming said that it would be the new owners’ responsibility to tend to the grave site.

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