Decision expected soon on Bruckner group home

The proposed site of a group home at 3407 Bruckner Boulevard has drawn the ire of many community leaders, who have opposed the high asking price for the house. Photo by Victor Chu

By Patrick Rocchio

The community remains in suspense regarding the fate of a proposed group home at 3407 Bruckner Boulevard.

According to a source, the commissioner of the state agency that regulates group homes for developmentally disabled adults is now reviewing the findings of a hearing into the home.

Representatives from Senator Jeff Klein’s office and Community Board 10 gave testimony on Thursday, March 25 before a panel at the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disability, opposing the proposed home for six developmentally disabled adults.

The issue has become something of a lighting rod because the home would be located in the ailing Waterbury Estates development, where almost half of the 47 houses built remain unsold. The group home is currently located in Community Board 3, so residents would have to be moved.

“They could get a building for the group home in Community Board 3 for thousands of dollars less than coming to Waterbury Estates,” said Anita Valenti, of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers Association. “The cost of the new home in this economic downturn is uncalled for.”

The original asking price for the group home was $800,000. It was then lowered to $730,000. Two houses in Waterbury Estates recently sold in the $650,000 range at the beginning of the year.

Many feel that since the group home will not serve the residents of Community Board 10, it should stay where it is. Community Action for Human Services is the sponsor of the home. Valenti said that she thought a move could be disruptive for the developmentally disabled adults.

“The people are already familiar with their own housing, and now you are bringing them to new surroundings across from heavily trafficked I-95, which could be a problem for them,” Valenti said.

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