Plainfield gives green light to Easter Seals group home
By Madhu Mayer For The Herald-News September 18, 2012 8:04AM
Updated: October 20, 2012 6:11AM
PLAINFIELD — Easter Seals will soon operate a group home in the Heritage Meadows subdivision south of 119th Street in Plainfield.
The Plainfield Village Board on Monday granted approval for Easter Seals to operate a group home for six adult males with developmental disabilities in the 24200 block of Apple Tree Lane.
Planner Jonathan Proulx said the home was constructed in 2003 and has been used as a single-family residence prior to its purchase by the Easter Seals following a period of vacancy and foreclosure. The lot size is 8,000 square feet, with adjacent homes to the north, east and west.
Proulx said village board action is needed because the group home is located in a low-density, single-family residential district.
Based on review, Proulx said the group home will not have a negative impact on adjoining properties. But staff does acknowledge that the operation of a group home may result in additional traffic from caregivers.
“However,” he continued, “this traffic will be similar in nature to the traffic generated by any given single-family home with multiple occupants and also similar to any home-based business that is permitted by the zoning code.”
When the proposal was discussed by the plan commission, Nick Nelson, an attorney for the Heritage Meadows homeowners association, asked who would be responsible for compliance to the rules and regulations of the community.
During the Aug. 21 plan commission meeting, Debra Condotti, a representative of Easter Seals, said the organization would address any issues that may arise in the future, adding that the first group home opened in Joliet in 1985.
She explained that Easter Seals is not licensed to serve mentally ill people. She said the residents who will be living in the Plainfield house have disabilities such as visual and hearing impairments.
Trustee Paul Fay did not see a problem with the group home proposal.
“The centers for independent living are a great opportunity for individuals to be integrated,” said Fay.
During last month’s plan commission public hearing, Krista Powley, a Heritage Meadows subdivision resident, said she supports the group home because she has a disabled child.
Another Plainfield resident, Todd Funk, testified that he has cerebral palsy and grew up in and out of the Easter Seals community. Funk said Easter Seals does “nothing but help people.”