McHenry County Blog Commenter Provides Info on Proposed Nunda Township Group Home Posted on 02/03/2018 by Cal SkinnerFebruary 3, 2018 Foreclosed Home Purchased with Taxpayer Dollars Commenter “CB” posted the following on previous McHenry County Blog article Planned Group Home in Nunda Township Irks Neighbors. Within 48 hours of the Nunda Meeting the community found out that a foreclosed home in the area was purchased with $210k tax payer dollars granted by McHenry Health Board for the intent to put 12+ people in the house as a recovery home. The house is a lemon. It sat foreclosed for 3 years sold ‘As-Is’ for cash due to mold, structure and septic issues. The banks wouldn’t mortgage the house. Several offers were turned down. Location of planned group home. One may become irked when you start searching ‘sober living group home’ or ‘recovery home’, there are 2 items that come out loud and clear. 1. Unregulated sober living homes are overcrowded and the people in the homes can be exploited. 2. Owners are protected by FHA and are getting wealthy, while the people inside are relapsing or dying. http://www.responsibletreatment.org/industry.html As a community we asked Nunda about zoning… thankfully they brought in Joe Gottemoller to answer our questions and directed us to review the UDO and to provide public comment at the next MCC Board Meeting. In addition, we reviewed surrounding counties and cities zoning… we found McHenry County’s UDO on Group Home is extremely unregulated. The current UDO doesn’t have a cap on # of people in a group home. And there is no permitting required. Thus McHenry County can’t provide any analytics on # of group homes and as of today and someone could cram 20 people in a house and it’s not a violation. https://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/Sober-Home-Addiction-Alcohol-Drugs-Long-Island-Family-Investigation-New-York-423651064.html We applaud the Planning & Development group on reaching out to Prescott, AZ and reviewing local counties and aligning the proposed UDO amendment with Federal & State law, International Building Codes as well as surrounding counties on Group and Sober Living/Recovery Homes. They vetted their proposal with States Attorney’s office. This change to group/sober living homes will not only protect the people within the home trying to recover, it will also protect the community. With 1 death a week in MCC due to OD, we all want to see New Directions succeed. Why would we want to see him fail with our tax dollars? However, I question buying a lemon house that needs A LOT of work, I question the location as they should be closer to public transportation, jobs and free services. Unincorporated areas pay more for utilities such as waste and water than the city and services such as the library are not free. The infrastructure is made for single families, including community well and 40 yr old septic. Overall, I have a hard time seeing the fit other than they got a cheap house that has a nice amount of sq. foot. The Not-for-Profit actually bid up to win the house with our tax $$. Listed at $210, bought at $214. When McHenry Health Board is giving out large sums of money, they should have a say on our behalf as tax payers on how the money was spent, at least see the house before putting in an offer. Did not happen. At this point how do we help New Directions succeed? Ensuring the people inside are protected through zoning and ensuring staff is licensed/trained. Note, these videos represent states across the country. This is not a new story. Just new to McHenry County. The first video link seems to be quite applicable; and provides a solution. Living in a formerly closed down hotel with medically trained folks on-staff to help and keeping costs minimal. win-win. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwNiXYU9ekM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrCVDsaiXHg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQ8b4b3OEHQ We encourage the MCC Board to approve this UDO change. As it will set a precedence for all group sober living/recovery homes within unincorporated areas not just Nunda township. Please note we are in support of Donna and Paula, we appreciated your vote mentioned above.