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Letter: Sober living owners still owe community answers

In the March 20 interview with New Points’ owners, not once did they address the actual complaint of the neighbors, which is that New Points built a sober living community with complete disregard of the Harford County Zoning Code. Instead, they deflect with the accusation that the neighborhood is fearful because of a “stigma” against sober living.

While operators say neighborhood fears of a sober living community off Route 24 at Wheel Road are unfounded, they are reducing the number of residents from 50 men to 40.

New Points applied for permits to build five single-family homes. Instead, they built a large compound which is, per their website, “one of the world’s first sober living communities built ground up specifically for the recovery process.” New Points, pretending that they were only building houses, did not apply for the special exception required for such a facility, thereby robbing the community of a public hearing where the neighbors’ voices would have been heard and the Board of Appeals may have imposed conditions “as necessary to preserve the public health, safety and welfare.”

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The fact that New Points skirted this procedure, instead choosing to sneak their construction into the community under false pretenses, makes a mockery of the idea that New Points is founded on “honesty, integrity, and service to others,” especially since they have steadfastly refused to communicate directly with the “neighbors-at-large.” One wonders how much the owners of New Points even care about their future residents, considering how much mistrust they have sown among the neighbors, whom their residents will now have to live beside.

The community is requesting nothing more than to have their voices heard. We want to have open, honest, dialogue with our future neighbors. I challenge New Points to call a meeting immediately. It is in everyone’s best interest for them to attempt to regain the trust and goodwill which they have, until now, treated as completely irrelevant to their project.

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Karli Bain

Bel Air South

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