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Fourth Group Home Can Be Added, State Says
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 23, 2003

CANASTOTA, NEW YORK--The Utica United Cerebral Palsy will be able to establish a group home in Canastota for five people with mental retardation, despite protests from neighbors, the Oneida Dispatch reported.

Two months ago, the village of Canastota asked to state to stop the group home because there were already three in the area. A group of residents in Rosewood Circle, where the home is planned, complained that the new group home would add traffic to the neighborhood, would mean a loss to the village tax rolls, and would affect the "residential nature" of the area.

On Tuesday the village received a reply from Thomas Maul, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities. In the letter, Maul rejected the village's request, explaining that there was no proof that the home would change the character of the neighborhood.

"I note the village's concern with the establishment of this facility in a very friendly and active neighborhood, and with the possibility of the proposed residents being isolated and not involved in neighborhood events and activities," said Maul. "As a result, I would request and encourage UCP to establish a neighborhood community advisory board to promote communication and help foster a good relationship with members of the community."

Canastota Mayor Todd Rouse said that the village was never against the concept of such a home.

"We never said we were against 'those kinds of people' like people said we were in editorials to the newspapers."

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