Neighbors appeal seven-bed psychiatric facilityBy David Taube
VERMONT PRESS BUREAU | November 19,2012MIDDLESEX — The basis of an environmental court appeal by neighbors of a proposed seven-bed psychiatric facility relates to town land-use regulations, and state officials plan to discuss the issue Tuesday.
State Mental Health Department administrators say the facility will help bring relief to overburdened emergency rooms. Since flooding from Tropical Storm Irene closed the Vermont State Hospital, hospitals have been acting more and more as buffers for involuntary psychiatric patients before patients can get beds at residential facilities.
“In terms of freeing up acute hospital beds, if even one person were even able to be out of that bed — one person moving out means that multiple people can then be served in acute care,” said Frank Reed, a Mental Health Department administrator. “The same (goes) with emergency departments.”
A family whose backyard and house are next to the proposed site filed a notice of appeal, but the couple and their lawyer had declined to provide the legal grounds for their case. In a public hearing, one member of the couple, Brian Hannon, said his property value could be affected, among other issues, but paperwork filed last week didn't make that case.
Court papers filed Thursday showed the basis of the couple's appeal relies on land use technicalities. Issues range from noise and parking to whether the facility conforms to the town plan and the building size complies with the regulations.
Assistant Attorney General Gavin Boyles said that document, called a statement of questions, limits the scope of the appeal, so additional concerns could not be raised later.
The state believes it will prevail, but officials have expressed concerns over the delay. The state has indicated a willingness to get the case expedited, but that has not been requested.
“The state is still weighing its options as far as how to move forward,” Boyles said.
Boyles said a phone conference also has yet to be scheduled. A settlement has not been ruled out, he said.
Dave Burley, an administrator with the Buildings and General Services Department who testified at the Middlesex zoning board hearing on the project this fall, said Monday there was no restriction on the size of the building given the project.
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: V-2 No. 13, launched this day in 1946 from White Sands, New Mexico, takes first photographs of Earth from the edge of the planet's outer atmosphere; 1947: Walt Disney testifies before HUAC, names employees he says are communists.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont's brand discussed at Killington, state's attorney candidates Marc Brierre and Rose Kennedy profiled, Curtis reports about Rutland police chief's new job, and four arrested, charged for heroin, crack sales.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1935, New York gangster, bootlegger, ruthless murderer Dutch Schultz, born Arthur Flegenheimer to Jewish-German immigrant parents, and three associates gunned down, killed, at the Palace Chophouse in Newark, N.J.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Acclaimed illusionist & escape artist Harry Houdini, performing in Montreal in 1926, is sucker-punched by a McGill University student. Houdini doesn't know he has peritonitis - the punches are possible factor in his Oct. 31 death.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Police Chief James Baker to resign from the force at the end of the year to take a job in Washington, D.C., jury remains out in teacher killing murder trial, Rec Dept. releases report on what's wrong with White's Pool.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Well diggers in Cardiff, New York, find what is thought to be the petrified body of a 10-foot-tall man, perfectly preserved after thousands of years, which becomes a popular roadside attraction until proven to be a fake.