Assisted-living center is opposed Communities assail plan for facility in residential area

September 01, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

Vernon Peter Leimbach doesn't even have a building permit for his proposed assisted-living center, but already he has community groups in the Pasadena area up in arms over his plan.

The Pine Haven resident has asked the county for permission to develop 3.49 acres at the southwest corner of Forest Glen Drive and Shadow Oak Lane into a 15-unit assisted-living center for the elderly, according to a grading permit application filed by Leimbach on March 8.

Neighbors question the location and the nature of the application.

"This is disturbing," said Holly Jupitz, vice president of the Forest Glen Improvement Association.

She said she feared that the center would ruin the rustic character of the neighborhood, which borders Main Creek.

"This would be a business," she said. "Being the residential area that we are, it doesn't blend into the community."

George "Skip" Kornmeyer, a member of the Cedarwood Cove Community Association, said his group dislikes the proposal because of the seeming incompatibility of an assisted-living center and a waterfront community more than 10 miles from the nearest hospital.

"A facility like this would have some emergencies," he said. "And if you're going to have emergencies, you don't put things at the end of a dead-end road. It just doesn't make any sense to me."

Daniel Maloof, whose property backs up to the site of the proposed center, said he is more concerned that the owners could alter the clientele the center would serve.

"If they get federal money, they could make it into a drug rehab place or something," he said.

Leimbach did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

Residents of Forest Glen, Cedarwood Cove, Saybrooke and Windermere Estates are spearheading a petition drive urging the County Council to pass a bill Tuesday that would require developers proposing assisted-living centers and nursing homes to subject their plans to public hearings.

The bill, drafted by Councilman William C. Mulford II, an Annapolis Republican, would give residents of nearby communities an opportunity to express their opinions about assisted-living centers and nursing homes that include 16 beds or more.

Republican Del. John R. Leopold of Pasadena said he supports the bill.

"But clearly, as the elderly population in this county increases and these facilities are needed, there must be a middle ground," he said.

He added, "Yes, the elderly have a right to live in assisted-living facilities. But, yes, communities have a right to maintain the residential character of their communities."

The bill would not affect Leimbach's plan because he proposes fewer than 16 beds.

However, Jupitz said something is better than nothing.

The bill "gives neighbors where the facilities are proposed to go in a voice," she said.

"Communities don't have a voice now," Jupitz added. "With a bill like this, at least our voices would be heard."

Pub Date: 9/01/96

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