Nov. 20, 2020 (Healdsburg, California)—After almost two years of community workshops and city hearings, the Healdsburg Planning Commission during a special meeting on Nov. 17 voted unanimously to approve the Major Conditional Use and Design Review applications for Enso Village, a Kendal Affiliate Life Plan Community. The planned community represents the first new senior housing to be built in Healdsburg in many years. Enso Village will sit on 16+ acres of land located on northern Healdsburg Avenue and will be part of a larger mixed-use development that will include retail, hotel, and other types of housing, along with many common amenities.
“It has been a pleasure working with City staff, Council and Commission members throughout the approvals process for Enso Village,” said Stephen Bailey, Senior Vice President at Kendal. “As a Kendal Affiliate. Enso Village management and its Board of Directors will be based in Healdsburg, and when built the new community will provide significant new housing and employment opportunities in the City and region.”
The Planning Commission approval paves the way for the building permit application for construction of the 221-residence community. The plans include 30 residences of affordable housing as well as 54 assisted living and memory care apartments, fitness and wellness amenities and multiple dining venues. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2021.
Architecturally, the design is inspired by Healdsburg’s agricultural history, the Zen Center retreat properties at Green Gulch in Marin and Tassajara in Carmel Valley, and Quaker and Zen notions of simplicity, authenticity and living lightly on the land. The new community will become a part of the natural setting, not only through the materials used and the design, but by providing access to nature for both residents and visitors. As with Green Gulch and Tassajara, the community will feature a working garden that will supply the onsite restaurants with fresh produce and provide residents the opportunity to join the process of working with the land within their own community.
“San Francisco Zen Center and Kendal are both 50 years old and share a commitment to deep listening and active collaboration,” said Susan O’Connell, Spiritual Director for Enso Village. “We have enjoyed a high level of friendly collaboration with the Healdsburg city staff and planning commission members. It is great to see the spirit of collaboration and consensus be embodied in the process of creating Enso Village—even before breaking ground.”
Enso Village, when completed, will exceed the LEED Gold Standard for energy efficiency and construction materials, will be nearly 100% electric and participate in renewable energy programs, and will immediately generate about 75 kilowatts of electricity from on-site solar. The community will also include a comprehensive water conservation strategy and will achieve greenhouse gas emissions targets that are significantly better than City standards.