The Diocese of St. Petersburg is currently in the negotiating stages to sell the site of the former St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, located at 5049 Bell Shoals Rd. to Bridgepoint Lifecare Group. Plans call for redevelopment of the site into a new style of assisted living for seniors that focuses on freedom, comfort, convenience, and affordability.

Plans for the assisted living facility call for one- and two-story villa homes, three-story residences, a building for those with special needs, a building for memory care as well as a resort pool with cabana and town center.

Brian Bokor, who identifies himself as a concerned citizen, said, “I keep myself on the pulse of the community and there clearly are two sides to this issue.” He explains that the people that live in the neighboring subdivisions are opposed to the plan because of traffic, noise and other issues.
“There is a lot of opposition from local residents but a lot of support from the people from the church,” he added.

While Bokor said that he is not on either side of the issue, he as well as many people who signed the petition referenced below pointed out that the alternative to an assisted living facility could turn out to be something that creates much more noise and traffic. “What is the option if it doesn’t go through,” he mentioned.

A rezoning hearing (RZ-PD 18-0100 BR), originally scheduled for February, is being continued by the applicant and will be held on April 16. Proponents of the plan are asking for community members to sign a petition in support of this redevelopment to present at the Zoning Hearing Master Hearing. The petition can be found at www.thepetitionsite.com.