Friday, July 14, 2000

Facility for teens won't be at site

Cheviot decides zoning bars it

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        CHEVIOT — Talbert House will not open a treatment facility for troubled teens here after the city's law director concluded the building would be a correctional facility and in violation of zoning regulations for that section of Bridgetown Road.

        Neil Tilow, president of the Talbert House, said the new program would have been for children determined by the courts to need treatment instead of detention.

        “We tried to work with the community and city officials,” Mr. Tilow said.

        But the law director, Mark Waters, determined in a legal opinion that because the children were being referred to the program by a court, “that meant it was more correctional than treatment,” Mr. Tilow said. “We don't agree with it.”

        Mayor J. Michael Laumann said Mr. Waters had been asked by city council to issue a legal opinion after neighbors complained about the proposed center, which would have been a residential facility on Bridgetown Road near the border with Green Township.

        The area is zoned for business but prohibits locating a penal institution or correctional facility within 250 feet of a residential neighborhood.

        Talbert House considers it a treatment facility.

        “It was a program for kids with mental health problems who were put on probation, but determined by the court to need treatment,” said Mr. Tilow.

        Neighbors had concerns about security at the facility, and its impact on property values.

        Talbert House officials are not sure what happens next.

        Both Mr. Tilow and Mr. Laumann said while there was disagreement over the issue of locating the facility on Bridgetown Road, there have been no hard feelings.


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