Group home proposed in Philo

PHILO — A company that serves the developmentally disabled has proposed a group home in Philo.

The Alan G. Ryle Companies of Developmental Foundations, Residential Developers and Specialized Developments operates eight- and 16-bed homes in Arcola, Champaign, Monticello, Rantoul, St. Joseph, Tolono and Urbana. The company has identified a four-bedroom home on Adams Street that it believes could be used as an eight-bed home.

The home would be staffed 24 hours a day and would have a one employee for each resident. Employees teach the residents skills they would need to live on their own. Staff members are required to be certified.

Residents in some homes have jobs in the community. Developmental Services Center in Champaign provides bus transportation for residents.

The company's 16-bed facilities are regulated by the Department of Health. The Department of Human Services regulates smaller group homes.

The for-profit organization receives both state and federal funding.

Dr. Susan Mantell of the Center for Your Health in Philo is the medical director. A nurse is in the facilities at least once per week.

A maintenance director is headquartered in Champaign.

A restroom would need to be added to the home to meet state requirements.

"It seems reasonably clear that your current zoning ordinance doesn't have a category for this type of a usage," Village Attorney Paul Hendren advised trustees.

A special use permit would be required for the home to be located in a single-family residential neighborhood. The company will have to submit a written proposal to the village's zoning board of appeals.

Hendren advised that trustees may want to consider what criteria to impose on the special use permit.

"I think the service provided is necessary, but we also have to have village input," Trustee Paul Brady said.

Village President Larry Franks said he wanted the full board present to make any decisions on the matter.

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