Wrong neighbors or neighbors' rights?

June 16, 2008 4:05:47 PM PDT
Some residents are complaining that their neighbors are a nuisance, but Delaware officials say there's nothing wrong and they won't discriminate. There are plenty of traditional suburban homes in Llangollen Estates and then there are places like a recently opened group home for mentally ill patients.

There are 3 homes, including another for the mentally and physically disabled, within a half mile radius of each other and all are run by companies hired by the state.

"It's just too many in one little street, one little neighborhood; it's just too many," Floyd Jackson said.

Jackson is upset over the plans to build a fourth privately owned group home.

"We're in acceptance of the homes we have already and we feel for the people, but why is Sterling Avenue a dumping ground for all this?" Jackson said.

Linda Freeman fears for children's safety because of increased traffic related to the group homes and she is not the only homeowner with complaints.

Why so many group homes in one neighborhood? It's a question Action News posed to a spokesman for the Division of Health and Social Services.

"That would be a violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act. That would also be if you can limit the number of group homes in a neighborhood you could also then limit the types of people you could have in the neighborhood and that went out with the 60s and 70s," Jay Lynch said.

Jay Lynch said the state does make an effort to avoid creating clusters of group homes in neighborhoods, but according to the residents, that effort isn't good enough. As for speeding drivers in handicapped accessible vans, no formal complaints have been filed with authorities.