As future residents of Wesley Homes Bradley Park, Puyallup couple Larry and Pat Carney are eagerly awaiting to move into the yet-to-be-built nonprofit, faith-based retirement community on the south side of Bradley Lake Park.
But the wait has been longer than anticipated.
“We thought initially by this summer we’d be moving,” said Pat.
We thought initially by this summer we’d be moving.
Pat Carney, Puyallup resident
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But Wesley Homes is still waiting for its building permit from the city, and while officials expect it soon, the delay has affected residents like the Carneys.
Larry and Pat have been involved with Wesley Homes for four years, after hearing about the organization at their church. They’ve advocated to bring Wesley Homes to the Puyallup area for years.
Now in their 70s, they’re waiting to sell their house in Puyallup until they have an established opening date for Wesley Homes. They said that mobility has become more of an issue as they’ve waited.
“I have a lung condition, and it’s progressive,” Larry said. “I can do less and less which means that Pat has to do more.”
“We’re not capable of moving ourselves anymore,” added Pat.
And they’re not alone.
Pat said her close friends who are planning to move in are upset about the delay as well. Some are waiting in other complexes for Wesley Homes to be ready. Other prospective residents want an exercise room within walking distance instead of driving to the Mel Korum YMCA, Pat added, or are tired of cooking for themselves.
“They’re looking forward to having a social life,” said Pat. “When you have a facility where you know there are going to be other people to do something with, it’s important.”
Last month, Wesley Homes president Kevin Anderson informed future residents that the organization was running into delays obtaining its building and civic permits from the city of Puyallup.
“This delay is costly for us and inconvenient for you, our future residents,” Anderson wrote in an email dated May 18.
This delay is costly for us and inconvenient for you, our future residents.
Kevin Anderson, Wesley Homes president
Residents were encouraged to write to the council members about why it’s important for the city to “move more quickly to complete projects like this one.” City officials said they received four letters from prospective residents.
Wesley Homes officials had its initial meeting with the city and Absher Construction in February 2016 and were told that it would take approximately four weeks for civil permits and 12 weeks for building permits.
But more than a year later, Wesley Homes is still waiting for its building permit to be issued.
City officials reached out to Wesley Homes residents last week to address the issue, acknowledging that “this has been a very busy construction season with an influx in permit applications,” and that the city is “working hard to process these applications.”
The delay was not intentional, just procedural, the city said.
The city also said that the project plans submitted by Wesley Homes needed multiple reviews, which delayed the process for permitting.
Normally, project plans are reviewed twice. The city reviewed the Wesley Homes project plans at least five times.
“Please know that, although this process may feel long-enduring, it is essential that proper review occur to help ensure a safe and positive living environment for you and other residents,” said the city.
Please know that, although this process may feel long-enduring, it is essential that proper review occur to help ensure a safe and positive living environment for you and other residents.
City of Puyallup
Wesley Homes received its civil permit from the city on June 7, and was assured by staff that it would be issued its building permits “in the near future.”
“Thank you to those who have written letters to the city and spoken at the city council meetings on our behalf,” said a June 7 update from Wesley Homes to its residents. “We appreciate your support and encouragement to keep this project moving.”
“Our interest is to move the project along so that those who have signed up are able to enjoy the life-enriching amenities and maintenance free lifestyle Bradley Park will offer,” added Christine Tremain, vice president of marketing and development at Wesley Homes. “We look forward to working with the City of Puyallup in this effort.”
The new Wesley Homes campus is located on the south side of Bradley Lake Park near wetlands. It is currently scheduled to open August or September 2018, but the timeline will be better established after the building permit is issued. Construction is expected to take 17 months.