A February rendering of the proposed four-story building at Blueberry Commons. The building would add 14 units of the total additional 29 units to be constructed through OceanView’s modernization and expansion project. Contributed / Town of Falmouth

A plan to modernize and expand OceanView at Falmouth’s Blueberry Commons took a step forward last week.

The Falmouth Planning Board, with one member absent, voted 4-0 on Tuesday to grant preliminary subdivision and site plan approval for the project that would add 29 residences to the retirement community on Blueberry Lane.

Plans also call for additional street parking, underground parking and a reconfiguration of parking lot infrastructure in order to accommodate the new residents.

The board requested a third-party traffic study.

“I want to make sure that we’re covering all necessary bases both in terms of vehicular safety and pedestrian safety and bicycle safety by adding 29 new residences … on the side street between Middle (Road) and Falmouth (Road),” said Vice Chair Karen Farber.

Board Chair David Sinnett requested that the board be able to review the findings of the traffic study before final approval.


OceanView’s representative Rich Licht of Licht Environmental Design said “trip rates (generated by senior housing) reflect a much lower usage than a typical residential subdivision” and that seniors have more flexibility when they drive somewhere, meaning they can avoid trips at peak hours.

The expansion proposal includes a new four-story building with 14 apartment units on Marion Way. This will be the fourth Blueberry Commons building, “completing the ‘quad,’” which is anchored by three other buildings on Marion Way, according to documents submitted to the town in March. A 14-space underground parking garage will accommodate that part of the expansion.

In that same area, one cottage will be replaced with three units, for two net units.

Ten existing units on Blueberry Lane that were built in 1984 would be replaced with 23 “energy efficient independent living units,” for a net of 13 additional units. These 23 units will be split between one triplex cottage, two 8-unit buildings with under-building garage parking, and one 4-unit building with under-building garage parking.

OceanView at Falmouth first opened in 1986 and underwent expansions in 2013 and 2021. The complex, on about 86 acres, consists of independent living cottages, independent living buildings, communal spaces, the Falmouth House assisted living community and the Legacy Memory Care facility. About 420 people live at OceanView in total, and the facility employs over 200 people.

John Wasileski, the founder of OceanView, told the board that he believes residents at OceanView are largely supportive of the expansion.


In March, Richard Schmitt, who lives in the Blueberry Commons section of OceanView, told the Planning Board that he and other residents were opposed to a fourth Blueberry Commons building because it would obstruct their view. “(Our) units were sold … with the idea that they were corner units and we would all have views from two different windows,” he said.

The retirement community held a meeting in April to discuss the project, which drew over 30 people, Wasileski said, and adjustments to the plan were made after hearing from the residents. At the most recent meetings, only one or two people showed up, which he takes to mean that residents had given their feedback and are now OK with the project, he said.

“In response to concerns, (the plan) has become better. Will it ever be fully embraced by everyone at every time? No, change is always difficult,” said Wasileski.

Others have expressed their steadfast support for the project. As of May 10, town officials had received eight letters or emails of support.

Sue and Hank Schmitt, residents of OceanView, wrote of their excitement for the expansion. (A representative of OceanView could not confirm whether Sue and Hank Schmitt and Richard Schmitt are related.)

“In discussions with some of our pals, we also have been especially impressed with aspects of the proposal regarding underground garages,” they wrote, calling the plan to construct new units with underground parking “a win-win visual tradeoff.”

A nearby neighbor of OceanView, Holly MacEwan, wrote to the town saying that she and her family support the “thoughtful, caring approach” that the retirement community is taking toward expansion and growth. She said OceanView has a special place in her family’s heart, writing that when her children were young they believed they had “dozens of grandparents” because of all the time they spent at OceanView.

Because of town zoning requirements, OceanView has a special designation as a Retirement Community Overlay District, which is governed by a conceptual master plan that was last updated in 2015. OceanView in May obtained the Planning Board’s approval to amend the master plan in order to accommodate the proposed expansion.

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