Schenectady County

Handicap home town disputed has 5 residents

A group home that the town tried to block, recently opened its doors after the town lost its bid and

A group home that the town tried to block, recently opened its doors after the town lost its bid and extensive renovations were made, state officials said.

The group home is on Pine Ridge Road in Niskayuna. The plan concerned town officials who argued there were already too many group homes in the town.

That oversaturation would change the nature and character of the neighborhood, the town argued then. Six homes were within one mile of the Pine Ridge Road site, the town pointed out. One home, on Glenmeadow Court, was only two streets, or just over a half-mile, away.

Asked this week about the home’s opening, town Supervisor Joe Landry said officials had exhausted all avenues, and had lost at an administrative hearing. As far as the town’s concerns, Landry said, it’s too early to tell if they will prove valid.

The home was purchased and renovated by the state Office for People with Developmental Disabilities at a total cost of $372,742, agency officials said. That cost is made up of the $254,900 purchase price and the $117,842 spent on renovations, including reconfiguring interior spaces, plumbing, electrical and mechanical. A sprinkler system was also installed.

Materials containing asbestos were removed. There was outdoor deck work and other minor site work, agency spokeswoman Nicole Weinstein said in an e-mail response.

The home is to have a total of six residents. Five men have already moved in, with a sixth expected to move in soon, she said. The home move was forced by rising crime around the former site on Bradley Street in Schenectady, state officials said in 2008.

In filings then, state officials responded to oversaturation concerns by arguing that proximity didn’t prove oversaturation. The nearest home, the Glenmeadow Court site, they said then, was in a different neighborhood.

The dispute surfaced in early 2008 when the town and residents were notified of the plan. Residents expressed concern over traffic to the home froom employees and families of the residents.

The home is certified to provide room, board and services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The home also has staff nearby at all times when residents are at the home.

“Community residences are designed to provide a home environment, and also to provide a setting where individuals with developmental disabilities can acquire the skills necessary to live as independently as possible,” Weinstein said in the response.

Weinstein also acknowledged complaints during the construction phase related to parking, a broken water pipe and questions on use of an easement. Those issues, she said, were resolved.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply