Council favorably disposed to group home for elderly


The owner of a Linthicum group home for frail seniors wants to open another program in an old, three-story house in Annapolis, a proposal that quickly won a nod of approval from the City Council.

George R. Wentz Jr., head of Manor Care Systems, unveiled plans Monday night to renovate a rambling house in the 1300 block of West Street into a group home for eight seniors and two staff members.

Residents would sleep in eight separate rooms on the second floor and share meals together and socialize in the dining and living rooms.

Mr. Wentz told the council that he became interested in private group homes for the elderly after his grandfather had to be placed in a nursing home in 1988.

He said that he decided to expand into Annapolis because the senior population is growing steadily and the city boasts a number of old homes that are large enough for group living.

Group homes have become an increasingly popular option for frail seniors who need assistance but not permanent medical care.

There are 115 licensed group homes in the state, including 14 in Anne Arundel County, monitored by the Maryland Office on Aging.

Alderman Dean Johnson, I-Ward 2, said he believes there is an increasing demand for such homes. "A number of my constituents want the service you're offering," he told Mr. Wentz.

City planners have recommended that the project be approved.

The council also heard an application Monday night to expand a seven-condominium development on Edgewood Road. Peter DeSilva, who owns the complex known as The Bluffs, wants to add another 12 condominiums.

The project was recommended by city planners with a few conditions, such as building a clay or grass tennis court instead of a concrete one, to avoid too much concrete in an environmentally sensitive area.

The council held over the hearing on the group home until its next meeting, in two weeks, because the Planning and Zoning Commission has not submitted a report yet. The condominium proposal is up for approval Sept. 14.

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