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Councillors push for restrictions on group homes

Christian, Hollingsworth ask for minimum distances between homes to avoid ‘challenging situations’
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The Civic Centre is pictured in this aerial photo

Ward 1 Couns. Paul Christian and Sandra Hollingsworth will ask City Council next week to consider mandatory buffers between group homes.

In a resolution prepared for Tuesday's City Council meeting, the councillors acknowledge that group homes are needed in the Sault, but they propose a bylaw similar to one introduced in Burlington, Ontario that requires that such homes be at least 400 metres away from other group homes.

Here's their proposed resolution:

Group homes

Mover: Councillor P. Christian
Seconder: Councillor S. Hollingsworth

Whereas group homes play an important role in providing care and treatment for their clients; and

Whereas these homes are staffed by trained professionals who deal with clients on an ongoing basis; and

Whereas group home staff are faced with challenging situations that, from time to time, require external support from municipal emergency services; and

Whereas these situations will occasionally disrupt the day-to-day lives of local residents and create occasional safety concerns for both clients and neighbours alike; and

Whereas some municipalities in Ontario have bylaws that create a minimum distance between group homes in an attempt to mitigate these situations;

Now therefore be it resolved that staff be requested to create a bylaw that recognizes the need for group homes in our community and also establishes a buffer between them;

Further be it resolved that staff model the bylaw after the bylaw established in Burlington Ontario and similar municipalities.

Next week's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.