Rejects Home For Developmentally Disabled – QNS.com

Rejects Home For Developmentally Disabled

Community Board 7 overwhelmingly rejected a proposed home for adults with mental retardation, on 35-88 162 St., Flushing, by a lopsided 28 to 8 vote, at an SRO meeting last week in the historic Bowne Street Church.
Board members blamed the State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) for failing to properly define the law’s application for "saturation of facilities."
CB 7 Chairperson Adrian Joyce informed the Association for the Advancement of Blind and Retarded of the project’s denial by stating, "CB 7 has no problem with the concept of group homes, however, the board members felt that this home was too close to an existing facility located at 35-84 163 St."
The proposed home site at 162 St. is about 200 feet from a recently-opened home for the developmentally disabled at 35-84 163 St. There are three other developmental facilities in the general area.
Angry board members say that this latest application follows a disturbing pattern of governmental indifference.
Three years ago the 163 St. facility’s application was rejected by CB 7, because of a saturation of similar facilities. At a hearing, the state OMRDD not only disapproved the board’s claim, but refused to provide CB 7 with a legal definition of the term. The 163 St. facility has been open for two years.
The new home was scheduled to be operated by the Association for the Advancement of the Blind and Retarded, Inc. (AABMR) for eight adults. It was to be served by six staff members 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The matter is automatically referred to the State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.
Under State law, communities can only reject a proposed home under two conditions:
• There is a better alternate site.
• Due to an over concentration of these facilities, the nature and character of the area will be substantially altered.

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