Wheaton's Group Care Home Commission last week voted to grant STARS Family Services the necessary license to build a for developmentally disabled adults at the corner of Cross Street and Union Avenue in Wheaton, the Chicago Tribune reported.
STARS is proposing to build two single-family homes with a common courtyard. The homes would be completed in stages, with the second home constructed as funding allows. Each home would have an attached two-car garage with a shared driveway off of Union Avenue. Guest, volunteer and staff parking will be on the shared driveway.
STARS provides small supportive living arrangements and related services to developmentally disabled adults of the STARS Disability Ministry of in Wheaton, according to a Wheaton city staff memo.
Since opening its first house in north Wheaton last June, the organization has received applications from more than 20 adults who live with their aging parents, who, “are finding it increasingly difficult to care for their adult children,” according to a city memo.
"It's a house, not an institution," attorney David Bay, who represents STARS, told the city's Planning and Zoning board at a June meeting. "It will blend well with the neighborhood. You wouldn't know it's anything other than an ordinary house."
Reader Kathy Langlois responded to . Langlois was also quoted in the Tribune after the Group Care Home Commission meeting on Sept. 6. Here is what she said:
The creative license taken by the zoning board to reinterpret the zoning laws is appalling. This plan is for 9,000 square feet of structure on a single lot and violates the rule that no group homes will be located within in 500 feet of one another. They've chosen to call these two 4500 square foot homes as "structures" rather than what they are--two homes for group living on a single residential lot. The STARS mission is a noble one--and they have a 1-year track record with a single home for four adults. Housing more than a dozen disabled adults together has not been proven and is not in keeping with the residential neighborhood in which this experiment will be allowed. I'm disappointed with the zoning board's rude dismissal of neighbor objections. STARS--we support you and your mission. However, we feel strongly that you should reconsider and build a single family structure and continue to build your track record with four adults in single houses within residential neighborhoods. This is too much.
Wheaton's Planning and Zoning board voted unanimously in June that City Council approve the project. The project approval will likely go before City Council sometime in October, according to the Tribune.