Neighbors don't want new personal care home - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Neighbors don't want new personal care home

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Update:

People who live near the site of a proposed personal care home in Albany are speaking out against it.  They say they want to protect their neighborhood.  But the company opening this home says it's just discrimination against people with disabilities.

This is the house on North Davis Street that Bailey Healthcare Inc. CEO Randy Bailey wants to turn into a personal care home for three disabled people.

"This home will look just like any other home on that road," explained Bailey. 

But a 120 day moratorium passed by city commissioners is preventing him from opening it.  Now, he's asking commissioners to make an exception.

"At a bare minimum it's costing us $400 to $500 a day. That's not my issue though. My issue is the fact that these people have been in an institution since they were 7, 8, 9, 10 years-old, now they're in their 30's and 40's and can't live by themselves on their own. They need help. That's what they're providing for them," said Bailey.

Bailey says a handicap wheelchair ramp will be installed behind the fence, not visible from the road. But nearby residents have their concerns.

"Please do not destroy this neighborhood," said Anne Mitchell.

Anne Mitchell and Beverly Willson live nearby and say they're speaking out to protect their neighborhood and the value of their homes.

"We're not discriminating at all. We are trying to take a proactive stance in protecting our investment. We purchased a single family home in a neighborhood and that's what we're wanting to keep," said Willson.

On September 25th commissioners imposed the moratorium, to give them time to revise their current ordinance, which has been in place for about 20 years.

Commissioner Bob Langstaff says state officials recently closed facilities for the disabled and these personal care homes are beginning to pop up more frequently.

Currently there are 21 personal care homes in Albany. And while commissioners can't prevent them from opening, they can enforce restrictions.

"What we can do is create some guidelines for how they must operate. In other words, restrict the number of cars that can be parked on the street, and create certain regulations related to noise or public safety," said Langstaff.

The moratorium expires at the end of the month, and commissioners are hoping to have the new ordinance adopted in the next few weeks.

Commissioners did not vote on whether to lift the moratorium for the home at 910 North Davis Street.  They're expected to do so on January 22nd, which is their next night meeting.

In November, another personal care home company asked commissioners to lift the moratorium, but they denied the request.

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A potential personal care home in an Albany neighborhood is causing some controversy.

Today, Randy Bailey, the CEO of Bailey Healthcare Inc, asked city commissioners to lift the moratorium they placed on personal care homes. The 120 day moratorium is set to expire at the end of this month.

The company purchased a home on North Davis Street to turn it into a personal care home for three disabled people, before the moratorium was put in place. 

Commissioner Bob Langstaff says the purpose of the moratorium is to evaluate and make changes to their current ordinance, which is 20 years old.

Langstaff says the state is beginning to close a lot of facilities for the disabled, causing these personal care homes to become more popular.

Currently, there are 21 personal care homes in Albany. Neighbors against this particular home say they are trying to protect the value of their homes.

Commissioners will vote on whether to lift the moratorium at their next night meeting.

This is the second personal care home company to come forward and ask the commission to lift the moratorium. The commission denied the last request.

 

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