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Article updated: 6/11/2013 12:14 AM

Palatine delays vote on group home's request to expand

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The same group home that faced resistance from neighbors before opening earlier this year in Palatine is back before the village council looking to expand.

Neurorestorative wants to increase the number of patients it serves at 1158 N. Deer Ave. by one to a total of five adults with traumatic brain injuries. But some neighbors, whose earlier opposition ultimately prompted officials to reduce the number of permitted residents in similar facilities, are pushing back at this latest request.

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"We're asking you to protect our kids," neighbor Mark LaSpisa said.

LaSpisa said the group home would become overcrowded, leading to lower quality of care and higher safety risk to neighbors, staff and the patients themselves.

The council decided to delay a vote and continue the discussion on Sept. 9 to examine how the group home operates during the summer, when kids are more active in the neighborhood.

Since opening in November, Carbondale-based Neurorestorative has had four residents at its Palatine group home for about three months now. So far, police have received complaints related only to cars at the home blocking the sidewalk.

One neighbor submitted a letter detailing odd behavior by someone she claimed was a wandering resident going into backyards and scaling walls, but program director Heaven Hollender was unaware of any incident. She added that certain residents have permission to be in the community to assist in their recovery.

Councilman Scott Lamerand and others said they'd prefer a summer go by before deciding whether to allow the interior of the house be reconfigured to accommodate a fifth bedroom.

"We'd like to see everybody there full on interacting for another couple months," Lamerand said.

"That would help us make a more educated decision on where this decision should go."

Neurorestorative representatives emphasized they don't plan on asking the council for yet another increase because doing so would require more staff parking.

Parking at the property is at capacity, and the village doesn't allow overflow vehicles to park on the street.

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