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Neighborhood asks officials not to double down on group homes

Residents of Eastport have launched a campaign to convince Anne Arundel County and the State of Maryland that one group home is enough for their neighborhood. The current group home has been the source of multiple complaints for a few years, so residents were surprised when officials gave a second group home the go-ahead. The two facilities would be on the same street.

The existing home serves eight individuals with mental health conditions. Historically, there have been few complaints about the home and its residents. The last two years, though, have seen an increase in complaints and a significant increase in the number of emergency calls to the address. Records indicate that just one of the 42 calls to the house in the last 12 months was for medical reasons.

Neighborhood homeowners say that residents have gone door to door asking for money and whistled or cat-called to women passing by. One parent told the press that she will not allow her children to play near the home.

The state has listened and apparently has heard the neighborhoods' concerns. The Maryland Office of Health Care Quality is conducting an investigation into the matter, expected to wrap up in February. In the meantime, the state has lowered the maximum number of occupants of the group home from eight to six.

Neighborhood residents think that's not enough, and they were livid when they heard that a second facility had won state approval. Even though the second facility will serve a different clientele and will be run on a different model, the neighborhood wants to stop the project before it begins. Once the investigation is complete, said a neighborhood representative, the plans for the new home can be revisited.

We'll continue this in our next post.

Source: Capital Gazette, "Eastport group home stirs passions," Earl Kelly, Dec. 28, 2012

Our firm works with clients on issues like the one discussed in this post. If you would like to learn more about our practice, please visit our Annapolis, Maryland, real estate litigation page.

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