BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) — The Boardman Planning and Zoning Commission approved the zoning change to an area along South Avenue to allow for the construction of a senior living facility.

However, approval is not the last step before developers can start building.

A portion of the 8000 block of South Avenue could soon be home to a new senior independent living facility, with construction starting by the end of the year. Some people who live near the proposed facility are not completely on-board. Their concerns range from flooding and wild animal habitats to over-development.

“I’m worried about future projects. Once one domino falls, they all start falling. Hate to see things change,” said Boardman resident Matthew Chapel. “We’re not in a big-time city. We are in our small, nice place to call home, I’d like to keep it that way.”

“This doesn’t seem to be the right time to take a mostly wooded area and turn it into asphalt and roofing, which is just going to add more to the runoff,” said David Yesh, another Boardman resident.

“The turkeys — oh, my god — there could be 24 in our backyard, as anyone on our street can testify,” said Boardman resident Mary Jo Averell. “I think that’s why we live there, because we enjoy all of that.”

During the meeting, a representative with Pivotal, the developer in charge of the project, answered questions from the audience.

“We will have a detention basin. It will be up to your standards. It will make sure less water is leaving our site in storm conditions than does now,” said Pete Schweigeraht, Pivotal developer.

The senior housing facility would be for adults ages 55 and older. The units would have one or two bedrooms, and rent would range from about $700 to $1,000.

Section 8 housing would not be accepted, but some housing vouchers would still be accepted, such as for veterans or the disabled. Boardman’s zoning commission voted unanimously to approve the change.

“We can make a zone change, and a month from now — two months from now — they can come back and say, ‘We’re not going to do that, we’re going to do something else,’ and there’s no way we can go back. It’s a matter of trust, and I believe this development will go through,” said Peter Lymber, Boardman zoning chairman.

Pivotal already has apartments in East Liverpool, and a senior living facility is also in the works in Liberty Township.

The decision to change the zoning ultimately rests with the Boardman trustees. They will have a meeting Feb. 13, where they plan to vote on Pivotal’s proposal.