Applicant appealing denial of Alzheimer's group home in Upper Saddle River

June 24, 2015
The Upper Saddle River Planning Board/Zoning Board at its June 25 meeting is expected to hear an appeal to a letter of denial issued by the zoning officer on the proposed development of a group home for persons with dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
     Blake Gardens, LLC submitted a zoning application on March 12 to John Walsh, the Upper Saddle River zoning/property maintenance officer on its intention to build a group home for persons suffering from Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, which would have a maximum occupancy of 15 people, according to documents acquired by Town Journal.
     Walsh, as the zoning officer, determined it was not a permitted use and that the site approval is required and issued a denial letter on April 22. In a May 8 response letter by attorney Steven J. Tripp, of Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer P.A., which is representing Blake Gardens, they reference the Municipal Land Use Law and assert that the denial is "discriminatory" and that it constitutes a violation of the Federal Fair Housing Act, which requires local governments to make "reasonable accommodation" to provide those with handicaps equal opportunity to housing.