By Shelby Stewart
Brandon Twp.- On Tuesday the township board voted 6-0 to postpone the first reading of the amendment to ordinance chapter 46, regarding adult foster care facilities, until they can have a closed session with the township attorney.
“If you aren’t aware, I have been a very outspoken, very in your face advocate, I don’t know what else I can do,” said trustee Bob Marshall. “Tonight we received a letter that we can’t talk about right now because it’s privileged information from the township attorney, and that is why we postponed it, based on what was in that letter.”
Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman says she also received word from the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that they would not honor the moratorium on adult foster care facilities that the township approved in August.
“We cannot honor this moratorium for any new AFCs with a capacity of six or less. We have had multiple discussions and correspondences with you that prohibiting a AFC license for 6 or less residents would be in violation of the Fair Housing Act, Equal Protection Clause and a US District Court Decision on this topic (also known as the Larkin Decision which I have attached again for you). I would suggest you review the Larkin decision, in particular the last paragraph of page 16 and first paragraph on page 17,” a LARA representative to Thurman.
The issue began back in April when a township group home was housing two registered sex offenders, which is against licensing regulations.
The two residents were removed in May, but neighbors of the group home are still concerned that the group home is not being run properly and is a threat to their neighborhood. They are also concerned that someone may buy one of the empty homes and open a second group home on the same street.
“I understand your frustration, I wish I could circumvent Michigan and/or federal law but I can’t,” said trustee Scott Broughton. “And we’re doing, in my opinion, everything that we can legally. And I know it’s not enough for some of you, but we’re doing the best we can.”