BOSTON, N.Y. (WIVB) – The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities gave the green light for a group home to be built in the Town of Boston.
The town’s supervisor and residents are fighting back. They say they’re not against group homes. Three already exist in the town. They just don’t want it at the corner of Omphalius and Cole Road.
“It doesn’t have sidewalks. It doesn’t have banking. It doesn’t have pharmacies. It doesn’t have restaurants. All the criteria they gave us that they need to meet,” Marty Ballowe, Boston’s Town Supervisor said.
The town tried to stop Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled from going forward with its plans to build the home.
A hearing was held in April, but the state did not rule in the town’s favor.
“I was disappointed in it,” Ballowe said.
Community Services is the same company that manages the group home in West Seneca.
Neighbors have been upset about sex offenders living there.
Ballowe said he’s working to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen to them.
However, the Buffalo agency is moving forward with plans to build a four-unit group home that needs 24-hour supervision.
A spokesman told News 4 the residents placed there will have developmental disabilities and could be sex offenders. The state will ultimately decide who will live there.
Neighbors worry about security, especially in the winter.
“We know living up here that the weather, the snow, fog, all affect the ability to get up here. If they need 24-hour supervision, the providers that are here working for community services may not be able to get up here,” Jay Such, a Town of Boston resident said.
The President of Community Services, Mindy Cervoni believes this facility can be a good thing for the community. She said people with developmental disabilities can contribute to the community.
The agency needs to apply for a permit to have the land rezoned. That’s because the town doesn’t allow residential development on land that’s less than three acres.
The town’s supervisor plans to block it and hopes the state doesn’t overstep the municipality. “I would be very disappointed if the state came in and superseded our laws,” Ballowe said.
He plans to fight this until the end. In addition to withholding the permit, he also plans on appealing the state’s decision.