Thursday, October 10, 2013

I see lawsuits

I live in an over 55 community.  Tonight I went to a zoning board meeting where someone wanted a variance to move into our community with their 40 year old developmentally challenged son.

It's quite a mess. Apparently some salesperson at our community said that they could bring their son. Based on that, the applicant made an offer on a resale home here and accepted an offer on their existing home.

Most residents here were strongly against granting the variance.  We feel sorry for this family, but if they were misled, they should sue whoever misled them.  No doubt the person who wants to buy their house will be unhappy and so will the owner of the house they wanted to buy, but that is all their respective problems to sort out. Perhaps they have reasons to sue also, I do not know.

The chairman of the board pointed out that he was aware of other families who secretly had adult children living at our community.  We are aware of that also, but the point is that it is secret.  The adult children are not joining in our community activities, which is something this applicant said his son would want to do.   Those people keep a very low profile because they are here illegally.  We may be willing to look the other way at temporary violations like that, but we don't want to make a legal variance allowing it.

I personally don't consider this a hardship.  If someone living here suddenly found themselves unexpectedly required to take in such a child, I might have felt differently, but not for this.  The applicant should have consulted a lawyer before entering into these agreements.

The applicant was asked what would happen when they themselves become too old or sick to care for their son.  They said his brother could take him.

A nurse also pointed out that they should consider a group home for their son. She pointed out that someday he could have nowhere else to go.  Why not do that now when they could take him home for visits, sleepovers and so on?  That would be an easier adjustment for the child.

Some board members felt that the community management is at fault for not providing accurate information.  That may or may not be true, but again I don't see that as a reason to grant a variance.

The board voted 3-2 against granting the variance.   I do feel sorry for this family, but I agree with the decision.

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