County Wants Group Homes To Be Less Clustered
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 13, 2003
MAPLEWOOD, MINNESOTA--Cities in Ramsey County will soon be encouraging residential service providers to put more distance between new sites and current ones for people with developmental disabilities.
County commissioners want group home and adult foster care providers to avoid establishing any new sites within 1,700 feet -- about 1/3 mile -- from existing sites.
Officials admit that they have no legal grounds to enforce any restrictions on housing. Federal law does not allow local governments to tell people with disabilities where they can or cannot live.
Still, many hope that service providers will voluntarily follow the guidelines to keep from creating "clusters" of such homes. Maplewood, with a population of just under 35,000 has 78 group homes. One neighborhood has three group homes on a single block.
"It kind of defeats the whole purpose of integrating into the community if they're clustered," said Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt.
"City Debates Group Homes" (Pioneer Press)