Archive for Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Neighbors’ petition objects to rural homes for disabled

October 4, 2006


A controversial request to put residential facilities near Baldwin for people with developmental disabilities will go before the Douglas County Commission tonight .

Community Living Opportunities wants a conditional use permit that will allow it to put four homes at 2084 N. 600 Road, about six miles northeast of Baldwin. CLO has named the project Midnight Farm.

Several area residents spoke in opposition to the request when the project was discussed this summer by the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission.

The Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the permit and sent it to county commissioners for consideration. Last month, more than a dozen area residents submitted a petition to the county opposing the project.

Residents' concerns about the project include increased traffic that will require more maintenance on local roads, a strain on the local water and power systems, and potential effects on the rural atmosphere.

CLO initially requested a permit to place eight homes at the 40-acre site but has scaled that back to four.

An existing house at the site would remain, and a mobile home would be replaced by one of the three new houses. Each home will include one or two CLO staff members, up to two of their children and one or two adult clients with developmental disabilities.

If approved, the permit will be reviewed by the county in five years and will expire after 10 years.

The County Commission meeting begins at 6:35 p.m. at the county courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts streets.


Ragingbear 11 years, 5 months ago

Just when you thought of the days where the child with Down's Syndrome was kept in the attic, and never let out into the public eye were over, this comes along.

People, get a grip.

I can also guarantee you that these people on the petition are all Christians. So this must be how your Christ wants you to treat those with a disability.

Perhaps we should just shoot them?

geekin_topekan 11 years, 5 months ago

Do you think these residents took the water and electric system or the atmosphere into consideration when THEY moved in?Once these claims are unfounded then what?NIMBY!

prioress 11 years, 5 months ago

The TEACHER weeps at those who use his name to justify fear and ignorance; going to have another child? The more you have the greater the odds a "challenge" will be delivered to you in the hospital.

geekin_topekan 11 years, 5 months ago

November sky puts the disabled in the same catagory as the homeless?

ForThePeople 11 years, 5 months ago

"Residents' concerns about the project include increased traffic that will require more maintenance on local roads, a strain on the local water and power systems, and potential effects on the rural atmosphe."

Rolling my eyes...Yawn!

So Weezy.....are you saying you actually believe that this is a valid reason for putting a halt to this project? Sorry, but the stated concerns IMHO aren't justification for keeping this project from happening. Nor is discrimination!

ForThePeople 11 years, 5 months ago

No, nov-sky...hatred is something i avoid....but I don't have alot of empathy for many homeless individuals whose choices have kept them in that position....and I'm all for keeping some mental health facilities open to accomodate those that DO need them.

Weezy_Jefferson 11 years, 5 months ago

Have you people even read the article?

"Residents' concerns about the project include increased traffic that will require more maintenance on local roads, a strain on the local water and power systems, and potential effects on the rural atmosphe."

There's no mention of discrimination.

ForThePeople 11 years, 5 months ago

This is another classic case of "not in my neighborhood"! Shame on you people for the lame excuses you've presented, why not just be honest about your feelings and FEARS!

gr 11 years, 5 months ago

"guarantee"? "all"?

Not afraid of crow?

ForThePeople 11 years, 5 months ago

Big difference between mental/emotional disorders and DEVELOPmental disabilities!

Weezy_Jefferson 11 years, 5 months ago

True, it doesn't hurt to read between the lines. But sometimes people create their own lines and find "evidence" that really isn't there. It's tricky.

Besides, I know a lot of people at CLO who frown at the Midnight Farm project.

LawrenceRes 11 years, 5 months ago

It's really sad that people have such a phobia of people with disabilities. Remember, it could happen to anyone. Bottom line, they are people too. Why can't they live in a peaceful setting on a few acres? I would say four new homes would do nothing but increase the value of the homes in the area. It would definitly be a step up from the existing trailer house. Shame on those people for looking down their noses like that!

ForThePeople 11 years, 5 months ago

Yes...and we also read between the lines too! I do recall about 20 plus years ago, another local agency facing the same challenges when they decided to add new homes in the community!

Weezy_Jefferson 11 years, 5 months ago

Take a NoDoz, ForThePeople,

Yes, those sound like perfectly valid reasons to me. Besides, CLO has enough to worry about these days and should save its much-needed money for other, more reasonable projects. Midnight Farm sounds like a good idea, but, like I said, I know a lot of people at CLO who think it's a bogus waste of time and resources. So, why spend a lot of money and energy that increases traffic, requires more road maintenance, strains water and power systems, and ruins the rural atmosphere when the project itself is a waste of money? Why not focus on hiring and training high-quality CLO staff members and acquiring new resources instead?

acg 11 years, 5 months ago

So, would these same residents complain if average citizens wanted to use that land to build homes for their families? Who are these people they they honestly think they corner the market on that area outside of Baldwin? It's not like one can say "we don't want anymore people living here because then it would start to be expensive" and expect that to fly. I don't want anymore people moving to Lawrence, but does anyone really care what I want? They should just be honest about their concerns. They don't want handicapped/special needs people living there and that's all this is about. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

Weezy_Jefferson 11 years, 5 months ago

Who's to say they're not being honest about their concerns? People, you have to stop being victims of knee-jerk reactions and try to look at ALL the factors involved. I'm sure rocket scientists would want to collect all the factual data they could before they came to a conclusion,

Confrontation 11 years, 5 months ago

If you've never worked in one of these houses, then you have no idea why these people want to keep them out of their community. Many of the clients are extremely violent, and many of the workers are undertrained or the houses are understaffed. Maybe it would be better to move all their houses into the country and far away from other people. However, those who live in this area do have many valid reasons to fight CLO. If they were building a house in your neighborhood, you'd be fighting it, too. There are many of these houses in Lawrence, and I definitely worry about the neighbors (both adults and children). To the person who said that this should RAISE house values in the area, what are you smoking? Are you more likely to move into a house that is near 4 houses filled with these clients? Sure, some are gentle and wheelchair bound, but that's definitely not all of them.

K_dub 11 years, 5 months ago

What the story left out was that they are planning on installing a horse riding stable, swimming pool, nature trail, other outdoor facilities, etc. The amount of traffic that they estimate is about 50 trips a day in and out of the facility -- weekend ventures that could have more than 100 or 200 people from the entire County participating. I don't believe that there would be complaints if it was simply 4 homes being built on 40 acres (10 acres is the minimum amount allowed to have 1 home). The concern is all of the extra traffic during the weekends and evening events.

This area is VERY rural. There are only 4 homes on the entire mile stretch, they are planning on 4 homes in a smallish (40 acres) area and installing one driveway going in to the entire facility. The road is narrow and dusty with a small "bridge" that has been slowly disintegrating with each rain.

I live out there.
And, no we don't object to the's the enormity of the project and the idea that it may turn into a subdivision out in the middle of nowhere if the project doesn't work out.

It's funny how the story leaves out quite a bit of the issue.

ForThePeople 11 years, 5 months ago

So K-dub, would you want your neighbors telling you what you could or could not do on your property?

Linda Endicott 11 years, 5 months ago

Exactly what is it about homes, riding stables, a swimming pool and a nature trail that would "ruin" the rural atmosphere?

What is a rural atmosphere, and how do you destroy it?

K_dub 11 years, 5 months ago

I don't think you are understanding the problem. Like I said we live on a small gravel road, with the kind of traffic that this facility will generate, it will be a huge problem. There are rules in a rural area calling for at least 10 acres per home site...along with this 10 acres you MUST have your own driveway. What they are wanting to do is put one driveway in and ajoin all the properties with a utility road, this will create a more suburbia subdivision feel. There are actual County rules that deal with this sort of building project.

Most of the folks that live out here, live out here for a reason, less traffic and peace and quiet. Not 100 to 200 people coming for the weekend...and having 50 round trip visits on average per day.

Anyway, I just wanted to give readers another side of the issue, that I don't think was discussed in the article.

There are certain rules that everyone must follow, and they are getting around it because they are a non-profit organization and have to get "approval".

Anyway, thanks for listening.

Morganna 11 years, 5 months ago

CLO - have they cleared up their problems from the past. My objection would be CLO - are they capable of maintaining homes like this? I believe that CLO should have their licenses pulled and made to prove that they can in fact handle taking care of people with a wide variety of needs before they build or start anymore new facilities.

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