An approved group home in Toms River. (Credit: Google Maps)
An approved group home in Toms River. (Credit: Google Maps)

The Toms River planning board on Wednesday night approved a 15 bed group home that had been proposed for North Bay Avenue.

The group home, which will serve Alzheimers and dementia patients, is currently a 4,400 square foot residential home which will be renovated in order to accommodate patients. The renovation of a garage area will expand the property to about 6,000 square feet. Residents’ bedrooms will measure about 13-by-16 feet, representatives for the property’s owner said.

The residence, located at 1544 North Bay Avenue, is limited by law to 15 patients, said Assistant Township Planner Erika Stahl. Under the municipal land use law, zoning regulations for a group home with up to 15 patients fall under the existing residential building code.

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“If any more individuals stay there, they would have to get a use variance,” said Stahl.

Dina Vicari, the attorney for the property owner, said the group home would be operated on a “24/7” basis and residents will live permanently on the premises utilizing private funding. Workers will be in the building in shifts. The daytime shift, Vicari said, will have four caregivers, a nurse, a cook and an activities director. At night, there will be two caregivers and a nurse on hand.

“The visitation hours will be limited,” said Vicari, alleviating concerns over parking at the building.

There will be 11 parking spaces at the facility, she said.

Ultimately, the look of the property will remain unchanged.

“The intent of this is to keep the house looking just as it is,” Vicari said.