The below text is taken from the application Sunrise has made to the City of Westlake Village.
Other than formatting, this is completely unedited and is the words of Sunrise, not
The development of a full service senior citizen retirement community that provides an
extended range of support to those who choose to live in the Westlake community. This
Sunrise community will focus on independent living, with assisted care support extending
to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, tailored to the individual requirements of
residents. By addressing the changing needs of seniors, Sunrise allows residents to age
in-place and remain in familiar, safe surroundings.
ADDRESSING COMMUNITY NEEDS
This Sunrise community will address an unmet need for residents of the City of Westlake
Village (the “City”) and provide a resource for Conejo Valley seniors. Many City
residents are, or within a few years will be, senior citizens, yet there are few, if any,
residential alternatives within the City to provide for the needs of these seniors. Seniors,
choosing to forego the burdens of owning a home, have few options within the City limits
to stay in the community, to be close to friends, shop at their local store and go to their
community church. The Sunrise community at Westlake would provide that opportunity
for City residents.
Our design intent for the Sunrise community in Westlake Village is to utilize compatible
building massing, emphasize the quality of space through enhanced landscaping and
architectural design, and the elimination of large surface parking areas, to introduce a
project that emphasizes the village concept. All existing structures will be demolished
as part of the project.
Site Design Concept
The primary goal for the proposed Sunrise project is to create a quality residential
setting for seniors in a building that comfortably fits into the community context. The
elegant landscaped entry courtyard faces east toward Lakeview Canyon Road and is
defined by building wings that step down in height near the street. In contrast to
adjacent properties, the building setback from Lakeview Canyon Road contains no
surface parking but instead is fully landscaped. The two story street façade is setback 24
ft from the property line with the third floor tucked back 40 ft from the back of
sidewalk. This main entry courtyard leads to a 2-story arrival lobby and the common
area as well as to the independent living units.
The building architecture has been carefully designed to fit within the local context
through proper use of materials and massing, but with a more contemporary architecture
emphasizing the hospitality of the design with the warm and inviting character of a lodge
or retreat as opposed to a typical apartment complex. The design of the building
articulation includes a rich mix of balconies, trellises, patio walls, iron- work, and wood
shutters that reflect an elegant residential scale and character. Exterior materials are
stucco and colors are light earth tones that accent the rhythms of the massing. At the
building entry, roof soffits are more articulated, and high quality copper-like gutters and
downspouts are visible. Wood windows will be used throughout the building, and will
deep set, emphasizing thick stucco walls, at the main common areas. The roof materials
are a slate-like roof tiles, further emphasizing the quality of construction.
Rather than express long building facades close to the sidewalk and the Lakeview
frontage, Sunrise has designed these facades to meet the street as narrower “wing ends”
with considerable detail and quality materials. For example, the 2-story corner accent
elements at the end of each wing flank both sides of the entry courtyard, and help bring
down the scale of the building from the Lakeview perspective as it meets the street.
The Watergate perspective is nearly completely screened by existing parkway trees, with
the buildings setback over 120 feet from the street, for all practical purposes, limiting
views of the facility from Watergate and eliminating any scale impacts for the residences
across the street.
The bulk of the property boundary faces adjacent commercial and church properties
containing buildings of similar heights and their respective surface parking lots. Garden
walls and landscaping will be provided along these parcel boundaries. Thus the site
design of the project provides individual treatment of each side of property that is
reflective of its multi-story commercial or residential character.
The proposed Sunrise building, will be primarily a 3- story structure, with 2-story
elements along the residential exposures. The total floor space will encompass
approximately 272,000 square feet. The lot coverage is just below 35%. The Floor Area
Ratio is 0.95. The percent of landscaped/patio area is 30%. The building height is within
the 35 feet height limit, when measured to the roof peak.
Site Access & Parking
The property’s main entry courtyard is along Lakeview Canyon Road, a designated
highway. A secondary entry, reached by a 30 ft easement drive from La Venta Road,
serves the Assisted Living and the service area is located on the northwest side of the
property. The commercial kitchen, which serves both the Independent Living and
Assisted Living Dining areas, is located on the first floor north side adjacent to the
service entry. Supplemental emergency access would be available from access easements
to Watergate Road.
Parking for the senior residents, guests, and staff will be in an underground garage
where 200 standard parking stalls will be provided. The below grade parking garage is
approximately 100,000 square feet, and has 2 ingress/egress locations. The underground
parking structure can be accessed from the main entry court and from a ramp adjacent to
the La Venta driveway along the west side of the building. Surface visitor parking,
encompassing 22 stalls will be located at the north side of the site along the driveway
accessed via Lakeview Canyon Road.
The proposed 100-stall surface parking lot located at the south side of the site adjacent
to Watergate Road will be developed and utilized by the Westminster Presbyterian
Church as additional church parking. In cooperation with the Church, this parking lot
may be used by Sunrise for overflow parking during occasional peak demand periods
In addition to the landscaped entry space, a landscaped courtyard is located at the north
side of the property. Dining rooms, living rooms, and other common amenity space
shared by the senior residents face onto this north courtyard where an existing large oak
tree will be preserved in place. The building design will work together with the
landscaping to blend the interior spaces with views to the north and up to the west to
take full advantage of the sun, shade, and vegetation.
A large interior courtyard located toward the west side of the property is flanked on all
sides by residential units above and common spaces at the ground floor, and will offer
additional landscape and view amenities. This courtyard will feature an indoor-outdoor
swimming pool, and the adjacent wellness and spa facilities that open onto the pool
terrace. This semi-private courtyard will not be visible from neighboring properties.
Sunrise Senior Living Communities, Inc. is proposing an upscale service enriched
retirement community designed for independent living through Alzheimer’s care.
Occupancy will be on a monthly fee basis, structured to address the level of services
being used by each resident. A resident equity/ownership type structure is not proposed.
Independent Living is for those active seniors who want to have activities and services
such as: fitness classes, prepared gourmet meals with dining service, and personalized
assistance such as housekeeping. These residents do not want to worry about household
maintenance and want a secure environment. Approximately 170 individual living units
are proposed. The size of these living areas will range from approximately 700 to 1,500
square feet with one and two bedrooms units available. Support services (such as
medication regimen assistance) will be extended to these residents to allow them to
maintain their independence as long as possible.
To meet the needs of residents who are in need of assistance due to memory loss, the
following two tiers of services are provided for Alzheimer’s and dementia care:
Approximately 44 units are proposed. The size of the living areas range from
approximately 400 to 640 square feet for studios and one bedrooms. The following are a
description of the two tiers of care:
Terrace Club provides the ideal solution for residents who need help with daily
activities, such as bathing, dressing and medication reminders. These residents may have
only the initial stages of memory loss and are still physically active. The focus is on
wellness and care to keep the residents as independent as possible by providing a tailored
plan of assistance.
Full Alzheimer’s and dementia care provides specialized services to meet the needs of
residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other related memory impairments. These
residents are beyond the initial stages of memory loss and are therefore less active. Under
the Sunrise Reminiscence Program Signatures resident receive “pleasant days” with daily
events that are both familiar and pleasurable using sensory cues. There are also
personalized family services such as family social gatherings, support groups, and a
family resource library. Familiar routines of daily life such as gardening and formal
dining are also provided. Residents have memory boxes and outdoor activity areas for
walking and sitting outside.
The building is designed to provide resident’s a comfortable home. There are two
entrances with front desks. One entrance will be for Independent Living and one for the
Alzheimer’s and dementia care. The following amenities are provided:
1) Formal Dining
2) Casual Dining/Bistro
3) Library/Living Room with computer stations.
4) Multi-purposed room for activities such as dancing and seminars.
5) A multi-media/theater with fixed seating and a large screen.
6) Exercise area for weight training and aerobics.
7) Swimming pool
8) Spa/massage therapy room
9) Hair and nail salon.
10) Card room
11) Arts and crafts room
13) Sundries store.
The market demographics usually consist of those seniors averaging 75 years of age with
60% to 70% female. The concept is to allow seniors to age in place while providing a
secure home environment. Although the independent residents may still drive, residents
will enjoy the van service provided by the facility for shopping, field trips and doctor’s
visits. Typically senior housing is a low vehicle trip generator compared to other housing
types and most of the trips are off peak hours. Parking is mainly underground.
There is a large service area (“back of house”) for the kitchen and deliveries. The
delivery trucks are the size of a FEDEX truck. There will be a minimum of 10 to 12
delivery trucks per week with deliveries done during normal business hours. Also, to
provide the wide variety of services, there will be a maximum of approximately 30
professional staff members between the hours of 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
This project will encompass Sunrise Signature services and the same warm feel of the
existing facility in Thousand Oaks located on Townsgate, however, the main component
of Independent Living will bring a more active resident with more leisurely lifestyle
needs and a focus on fitness and health. On separate floors the Alzheimer’s and
dementia care will be similar to Sunrise’s existing facility; however, the Terrace Club
will add a unique level of service.
The Sunrise Senior Living Project consists a specific combination of uses, elements and
characteristics that may not be directly addressed by the City’s existing regulatory
framework. The following discussion represents the applicants best understanding of
those regulatory changes required, however it is recognized that the City has several
regulatory options to address this project and will decide what regulatory
changes/approvals will be required.
The General Plan
The General Plan designation for the property is “Institutional” which permits
schools, hospitals and religious facilities among other uses. A General Plan text
amendment may be required. While some jurisdictions encompass senior citizen
facilities with extended care capabilities, as institutional uses, the range of activities
proposed for the Sunrise facility (independent living, assisted care services, on-site retail
elements) may require the City to consider adding a full service senior housing use as a
conditionally permitted use within the Institutional category of the City’s General Plan.
There are several General Plan policies that support the City’s consideration of this
proposal. These Plan elements include :
1. General Development Policy: The General Plan Development Policy Map
designates the property for “Intensification.” Therefore, in the context of the
character of urban uses within the City, the General Plan supports a scale of
development on the property consistent with the character of project proposal.
2. Senior Housing Overlay: While currently not applicable to the subject property,
(The City removed the “Special Needs Housing Overlay” from the subject property pursuant to
approval of GPA No. 04-001. The overlay designation was transferred to another property.)
The General Plan policy recognizing the need for a density bonus in support of
senior housing projects. Again, this is strong General Plan policy support for
senior housing projects in appropriate locations.
3. Policy 4.1.5: This Policy encourages housing that meets the “special needs of
senior citizens” when compatible with adjacent development. While the policy
is applicable to properties with residential designation, it does demonstrate the
need to consider a range of operational structures to address the senior housing
The subject property is zoned Public/Institutional (PI). This zone permits a range of
specific uses including hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and churches. “Special needs
housing” is permitted when designated by the General Plan. Currently the General Plan
does not show this designation for the subject property. A zone change ordinance text
amendment may be required to allow for a full service retirement community within
the Public/Institutional zone.
The property proposes a three story development envelope to optimize building
efficiency and provide the floor space necessary to encompass the range of amenities and
specialized services utilized by the residents. While building heights are within the 35
foot height limit set out in City regulations, the three story element will require a variance
or other regulatory modification to development standards to permit the proposed project.
Additionally, the Development Standards for the Public Institutional zone limit the Floor
Area Ratio (FAR) to 0.50.2 The project proposal encompasses a building envelope FAR
of 0.95. A zone variance will be required to allow the necessary enhanced building
Conditional Use Permit
A Conditional Use Permit is requested to provide the City a regulatory vehicle to impose
project specific development standards for setbacks, landscaping, lot coverage among
other project design specifics.
Planned Development Permit
A Planned Development Permit is required for new buildings to insure design
compatibility with surrounding land uses.
2 City Zoning Regulations, Development Standards Section 9.14.020 F.