The long real estate saga that has entangled the Little High Area Neighborhood Association (LHANA) and Region Ten, the public agency that provides services to mentally disabled people, came to what seems like a conclusion on October 26 when the City’s Board of Zoning Appeals ruled in favor of Region Ten. At issue was whether construction and redevelopment could continue apace at a Region Ten property at 1111-1113 Little High St. without the agency having to submit its plans to the Planning Commission for review and public hearing.
LHANA had contended that because the proposed use of the site was altered after a previous owner won City approval to develop a total of 40 apartments there, Region Ten’s plan required new review. Region Ten intends for the apartments to be low-income housing for their mainstreamed clients. LHANA maintained that, as such, The Mews (as the project is known) constituted adult assisted living.
On October 26, the Board of Zoning Appeals decided against LHANA.
The following day, LHANA President Mark Haskins struck a conciliatory note in a letter addressed to Region Ten’s interim director Caruso Brown. “One of our great concerns about The Mews has always been that it draws upon an unsuccessful public-housing project planning model which consistently results in the fragmentation of neighborhoods and the isolation of the very part of society it is intended to serve,” Haskins wrote. “Our dispute has been with Region Ten’s administration and planning of The Mews, however, not with the clients the project is intended to serve. Our neighborhood remains committed to welcoming all residents, regardless of disability."