Planning Commission denies reconsideration for variance

Home denied a variance to become a group home. / Jessica Fairley

After being denied a variance of a 1,000 foot ordinance to start a group home in an Albany community, owners of that home located at 910 N. Davis Ave were back in front of the Albany Dougherty Planning Commission Thursday for reconsideration.

After hearing statements from Eric and Lauren Bailey and Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis, the planning commission declined to make a motion for reconsideration.

The city attorney brought the issue back before the board on the basis of reasonable accommodation, meaning that the group home may have had a legal reason that was substantial enough to allow the group home in that location.

Planning officials say they decided to stick by their previous decision based on a mandate by the federal law.

"The 1,000 feet rule is the lesser of evils in a sense that at least there's some effort at limiting it in such a way that it doesn't become crowded and a real burden upon the whole area or neighborhood," said Steve Kaplan, Vice Chairman of the Albany Dougherty Planning Commission.

Kaplan says their decision in no way was formed on the basis of discrimination against those who live in group homes.

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