Variance denied for personal care home

Home located on North Davis Avenue. / Jessica Fairley

The Albany Planning Commission voted on a variance that would allow a personal care home to be placed only footsteps away from another.

They made a 6 to 2 vote denying the variance that would exempt the home from an ordinance mandating that personal care homes must be at least 1000 feet apart.

If the variance had been approved, the home located at 910 N. Davis Ave. would be only 765 feet away from the nearest personal care facility.

The possibility of the facility coming into the Rawson Circle community has caused much debate over the last few months. Residents came forward with concerns ranging from the possibility of property values dropping to the quality of life for patients.

"The residences that are being relocated into personal care homes in residential neighborhoods would be afforded a residential neighborhood and not an area so designated for personal care home after personal care home," said Anne Mitchell, a concerned resident.

She says there's no sense in moving patients from an institutional setting into another location set up like an institutional setting.

Ward II Commissioner Ivy Hines says the vote made by the planning commission set precedence to align with the law, meaning if they allowed this variance of less than 1000 feet, someone else could come forward later proposing a variance the same issue.

"The neighborhood and community in that area has been concerned about what's going on in that area as far as the density of dwelling places, so I think this will have some impact as far as the ordinance and what is desired in that particular neighborhood," said Ivy Hines, Albany Commissioner.

Planning officials declined to comment on the decision in case of future litigation.

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