Letter to the Editor

No to Zoning Change

Friday, September 26, 2008


Once again we are being asked to change our city zoning laws to allow a company to construct five group homes on East Highland. I, as a homeowner that will be on the east boundary line, would like to object to this change.

Our present zoning says that there shall be 5,280 feet between group homes. We at present already have a group home on North Elm Street, which is about 2 1/2 blocks from the proposed site for the other five group homes.

The city of Nevada already has several group homes in different locations. We already have enough burden in our city and county of supported homes now and should be trying to attract business that will have good incomes for its workers so they will come to our town to live and spend their paychecks, pay utilities, pay taxes and become citizens of Nevada.

The homes to be constructed on the proposed site will have six bedrooms and according to the handout will have six clients. The State of Missouri will allow two clients to a bedroom and some of the present homes have this population.

In talking with Mr. Hurn, the staff will be two CNA's per house and a LPN each shift and other para-professionals. Other professionals would be on call or daytime personnel.

In talking, they bring up the $3.75 million budget and development cost of $25 million. On the development cost I have not heard of any local contractors or building materials suppliers being asked to bid on this project at this time.

On the $3.75 million budget we will probably see some property taxes, some utilities payments and a few purchases from local suppliers. The jobs that will be developed will probably be lower-end pay scale jobs with most of the professional jobs coming from outside of Nevada. We, the city and county would probably not see to any great extent a big change in our budgets.

In order for all of this to happen the planning commission has to give a favorable vote back to the city council on the proposal. Then the council will vote to not accept the proposal or vote to change the zoning to let them build five group homes.

If the latter was to be accepted this will open up every block in Nevada for anybody to come in and construct as many group homes as they would like.

In closing, I would like to say this is not just a Highland Street problem. This is a problem that will affect the entire city if this zoning is changed. So we need to look at it carefully. I would like to encourage citizens to contact the city council, Ron Clow or City Manager Bill McGuire.

Come to the planning commission meeting October 14, 2008, beginning at 5 p.m. at the site at 424 E. Highland and then adjourn to the council chamber for further discussion. If you cannot attend send a letter to Ron Clow with you concerns or objections and sign and put your address on this letter. I believe that the present zoning has served our community very well and does not need to be changed just for this special project.

Thank you,

Jim Norris