Judge rules nursing home cannot expand at Wilde Lake

January 29, 1996|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,SUN STAFF

A federal judge has thrown out a suit charging that Howard County violated the Constitution and housing laws protecting disabled people when it refused to allow expansion of a group home for the elderly in Columbia's Wilde Lake village.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in March by Carmen Colandrea and her son Richard Colandrea, operators of Bryant Woods Inn on Waterfowl Terrace. They sought to increase the number of elderly residents at the group home from eight to 15.

They sued after the county's Planning Board unanimously denied their application by ruling that the home did not have enough parking space to accommodate the expansion.

The Colandreas said the action violated fair housing laws because the elderly people the home would have served are disabled.

In his Jan. 22 ruling, U.S. Judge Frederic N. Smalkin said the board's decision was not motivated by the disabled status of the residents.

The judge said the parking problem was a rational basis for the Planning Board's denial.

Mr. Colandrea said Friday that he hadn't seen the decision, but that he would have to give up his fight to expand.

"That's something I'll just have to adjust to," he said.

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