Neighbors Say No to Group Home | NBC Connecticut

Neighbors Say No to Group Home



    This home at 134 Southdown Drive in Bristol could soon be a group home for troubled teens.

    The four bedroom colonial at 134 Southdown Drive has been on the market since March. Now it's under deposit, but neighbors are concerned about who is moving in next door. They've heard it's being purchased by a non-profit group out of New Britain, which intends to use it as a group home for troubled teens.

    "To have six troubled boys that were victims of abuse, we're not unsympathetic to that again, but this is the wrong place for it," said Nathan Peabody, who lives across the street.
    Many neighbors are worried that bringing the teens into the neighborhood will impact the safety of other children.
    "I'm very concerned, because I have a 13-year-old and a 10-year-old here, and we moved up into this neighborhood to enable them to have a safe environment," said Wendy Smith, who lives on nearby Westwood Road.
    "I'm scared if I'm going to be able to ride my scooter in the cul-de-sac anymore," said Hayley Smith, her daughter.
    They have lots of questions but few answers. The property contracts are all confidential.
    "Based on the state laws, they can buy the property and the local government has no jurisdiction. The local land use regulations have no jurisdiction," said Tom DeNoto, who lives next door to 134 Southdown Drive.
    Neighbors are getting ready to take matters into their own hands. During a neighborhood meeting on Friday, they signed a petition to say they'd be willing to fork over some money to keep the group home off of Southdown Drive.
    "If DCF does license this house, and they do say that this group can come into the City of Bristol, that we're able to at least go to the purchaser, or go to the homeowner I should say, and say, we have people who are financially committed who would also like to buy this house," said DeNoto.
    NBC Connecticut spoke to the homeowner at 134 Southdown Drive. He said he doesn't know who bought his house because it was a third-party sale. He says the house hasn't been closed on, but there is a signed contract.