Dispute over house in Catonsville for those recovering from addiction continues

January 13, 2012
More than two months after an administrative hearing to determine the legality of a home for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts was postponed in favor of private negotiations between Baltimore County lawyers and the home's owner, an agreement still hasn't been worked out, and the "issue is at a stalemate," according to Scott Alpert, the owner of the residence on Mellor Avenue in Catonsville.
     The dispute began years ago, when the county began slapping Alpert with fines for having three unrelated adult tenants living in the home. County code limits the number of unrelated adult tenants in a single residence in the county to two.
     Alpert, a licensed clinical counselor who owns and operates Central Maryland Addiction Counseling in Ellicott City, contended that his tenants – who are all clients of his trying to maintain sobriety and are receiving counseling – are exempt from the county's code under the federal Fair Housing Act, which requires that people with disabilities, including substance addictions, be provided reasonable accommodations. .