Leetonia residents discuss concerns on proposed adult group home

LEETONIA- Over 20 village residents met Tuesday night at the Leetonia Community Public Library to discuss concerns about a proposed adult group home in the former Presbyterian church at High and Elm streets.

The residents indicated a displeasure with the transparency concerning the establishment of the home which sits in the same section of town as Wick Park, the library and a bed and breakfast. They plan to present their concerns before Village Council tonight and determine whether there is anything they can do to stop the facility from opening if their questions aren’t answered.

The residents noted concerns about the operation of the facility, demographics of the residents, whether the facility meets certain zoning and building ordinances, affects on property values and other issues on which specific details have not been made known. Those at the meeting said they hope to get as much information as possible because right now there are too many unanswered questions for an issue that will affect so many residents.

The meeting was prompted by information provided by the proposed home’s owner Les Crowe and his partners at a council meeting two weeks ago.

Crowe told council that the facility, licensed through the state and regulated by the Ohio Department of Health, will house up to 16 residents with mental health disorders who are independent, high-functioning individuals with no history of violence. He said the residents are people who suffer from disorders such as depression and forms of schizophrenia and come to the group home to receive guidance in everyday routines such as preparing meals, taking medications and doing the laundry.

Crowe, who also owns group homes in Wellsville and Stuebenville, said there is one staff member on duty at all times with consistent visits from nurses and physicians. The home’s administration conducts strict background checks on potential residents and works closely with their caseworkers, he said.

Zoning Inspector John Rydarowicz said that all the proper zoning is place for the facility.

Kevin Howell can be reached at khowell@salemnews.net