Ruxton opposes commercial use, not mental health treatment

While I am disappointed in Monday's Baltimore Sun Editorial "Discrimination in Ruxton" (April 25) I am not surprised. How easy for The Sun's editorial board to paint Ruxton residents as "hysterical, intolerant, delusional, arrogant and shameful." Characterizing the issue as "ugly intolerance" sells papers, but it fails to address the real issue.

Make no mistake, what Sheppard Pratt is proposing to do is place a commercial profit center in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Residents of Ruxton oppose any commercial use of this property. Because Sheppard Pratt enjoys non-profit status, the proposed group home falls under the purview of state law. Sheppard Pratt does not have to file for zoning variances, there is no review period, and affected neighbors have no ability to challenge the proposed usage.

Instead, Sheppard Pratt can purchase property in any Baltimore County neighborhood, label the use "group home" and ignore any and all negative consequences. Incredibly, there are no checks and balances.

The residents of Ruxton are not anti-mental health; on the contrary, respect and tolerance abound in our diverse neighborhood. What we do strenuously oppose is any commercial enterprise being placed in our midst.

Laura Shmerler, Ruxton

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