Village Board Approves Rezoning for Mental Health Facility

Stern warning issued amidst objections from residents.

Despite complaints from residents, the rezoning proposal for the remodeling of South Shore Association for Independent Living (SAIL), located at 585 Merrick Road, was approved by the village board at Monday night's monthly meeting.

The vote, which had been postponed from December's meeting, saw the board vote in favor of the rezoning by a final margin of 4-1 -- the lone "no" vote coming at the last second from Trustee Kevin Glynn.

Residents who live near SAIL complained that the facility has simply been a "bad neighbor," citing a messy property and lack of supervision of residents as ongoing problems.

N. Oceanside Road resident Rich Taylor lives around the corner from the facility and said that while promises from the SAIL staff are nice, he wants assurances that things will change.

"They're a business. Like every other business in this village, they should be subject to what this village is all about," Taylor said. "... Give the building department or fire department or police department unfettered access to this facility and make sure that what they're promising, what they're portraying to this village, is what they're going to deliver."

Village Mayor Francis Murray said that the rezoning legislation was approved because it should make it easier for SAIL to "renovate the property and build a better facility," which should then, in turn, result in less of an impact on the neighbors.

However, prior to the board's approval, Trustee Ed Oppenheimer issued a stern warning to the facility's operators.

Oppenheimer first presented a series of two photos that showed garbage on both sides of the SAIL property, along with overflowing dumpsters and an old storage shed. He continued to say that the organization, despite being not-for-profit, has the financial means to keep the property clean.

"If it takes a few extra dollars to have a maintenance crew come in and clean this property up on a weekly basis, it should be done," he said.

"As the mayor has said, and we all back him up, 'This is your responsibility to be a good neighbor,'" Oppenheimer added. "... Living in this village, or any other village, demands that you respect your neighbors, respect yourselves and keep you property clean and neat, which this obviously has not been kept."

joe thrapp January 08, 2013 at 02:39 PM
I commend the Board"s decision in keeping a 20 year neighbor in the Village. SAIL does the work just like any other health facility. The idea of giving people who might have been homeless, a place to identify their illness and provide a path to permanent housing , is truly an affordable housing plan. After the school years people with mental illness are pretty much on their own. Public Mental health treatment centers are few and the private ones are very expensive .People with mental illness sometimes have relapses or unforeseen interruptions in treatment. In the mental health community it is well know that if you feel ill and cannot contact your attending physician it is recommended that you go to the nearest emergency room. If you cannot get there you are instructed to call 911. Believe it or not 911 is the recommended procedure for people impacted with Mental illness to go to hospitals. This recommended procedure is the reason for most of the 70 calls to the RVC police since 2011. The people in SAIL are not violent and they are constantly monitored. To suggest a police interruption of their daily routine is outrageous. How would you like it if police entered unannounced to your house because you were cursing and playing basketball late at night? Again I commend the Board for approval. Trustee Glynn voted against the approval. It is scary he is so prejudice to the mentally ill. Its outrageous that he is not tolerant to people who might be different than him.
joethrappatitagain January 08, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Joe Thrapp, at it again!
That RVC guy January 08, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Joe, I'm sure Trustee Glynn is not prejudiced towards the mentally ill, but rather, speaking to the wishes of the hardworking, tax-paying homeowners livin near the facility, who deserve the same quality of life as everyone else in the Village. To accuse him of intolerance and prejudice, is the height of liberal, handwringing gibberish And...... I'm also willing to bet you dont live within a mile of this particular facility!
joe thrapp January 08, 2013 at 07:00 PM
Hi,That RVC guy, I am not a hypocrite. I would be more than happy to have SAIL open a residential home right next door to my house. They have been good neighbors for over twenty years with little or no negative effects on the Village . I am a little surprised to read you only think that tax paying homeowners and not the 47% of the working poor are to benefit from Americas social safety This group of Americans pay no federal income tax. I do not know how many times the Police had to come to Long Beach Road or to Cumberland Street to investigate loud parties or assaults committed on their premises. I would not judge them before I had the police reports. Then I would decide if they are negatively effecting the residence and members of the RVC Community. SAIL is clear in their dedication to the mentally ill. They are not hypocrites who judge people who have to face prejudice and be pre-judge by people like Trustee Glynn everyday. Have a good afternoon,
Mickey January 08, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Really Joe?? Even on Wright Road??....winking at you Ed
That RVC guy January 08, 2013 at 10:05 PM
JoeBush, perhaps Trustee Glynn didnt rely on reading a myriad of police reports, but merely listened to the legitimate concerns of the RVC homeowners directly affected by this home. I dont know, I wasnt there. You seem very willing to greenlight the zoning change from the safety of you own home based upon what you might find in Police reports you admittedly didnt read, while criticizing Trustee Glynn and casting aspersions on his character based upon what you think he based his decision on. You are very generous with other peoples quality of life, when you yourself are not affected. Limo liberal think, 101. Good day to you,Sir!
joe thrapp January 09, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Hi That RVC guy, Again I would have no problem having SAIL open a residence next door to my house. Liberal and Conservative people who need help need to have help available to them. I would not discriminate. I did not read the Police reports. The RVC Police Commissioner said "the majority of the 70 calls were for hospital runs for treatment and there were a couple of assaults committed by one resident to the other". He did not say any of the neighbors were attacked. Trustee Glynn's character is not the issue. The issue is his vote was to turn his back on special needs people who are different than him and need the help of the community. If his grandstand vote is for a couple of residents whose complaints about some cursing, loitering on the SAIL property and playing basketball at 11:00 PM on SAIL property without ever contacting the SAIL director over the past several years; then his NAY vote or narrow minded view on special needs people is his choice and it his right to turn his back on people who need help. I would be a little upset if I had a gathering on my property. If my neighbor called the Police because some of my guest were cursing loitering and playing basketball in my driveway at 11:00 PM. Wouldn't you be a little upset? Again, I applaud the other members of the Board who did not turn their backs on people who need this communities help and understanding. Have a Good night my fellow RVC resident
That RVC guy January 09, 2013 at 01:23 AM
Ok, I'm back. Joe, apparently you are laboring under the missapprehension that "cursing loitering and playing basketball in my driveway at 11:00 PM." is acceptable behaviour. For now, My "help and understanding" will be allocated to law abiding, tax paying homeowners who dont think that is acceptable behaviour. Good Night to you, SIr! -
joe thrapp January 09, 2013 at 03:30 AM
Hi, That RVC guy, Goodnight, I can see it's all about the money with you and not looking out for all the other non-tax paying homeowners. That's were different I would help anyone in need taxpayer and non-taxpayer. I will not answer anymore of your well spirited comments. BiBi
That RVC guy January 09, 2013 at 05:07 AM
OK, I'm back. Be done with you and your homeowning, yet... non-tax-paying ilk!! Adieu, joebush, may a frustrated neighbor turn his home over to section 8 and grace you and yours with the joys of dysfunction and pathology! You and me have to party. Digits, pronto,


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