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Cornerstone Group Home Gets Nod from Plainfield Trustees

Trustees said they supported Cornerstone's proposal to build a group home for up to eight adults with developmental disabilities.

Credit: Patch file photo
Credit: Patch file photo
At a Nov. 19 plan commission meeting, some residents of the Creekside Crossing subdivision voiced concerns about a social service agency's plan to build a group home in their neighborhood.

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  • Specifically, residents said they feared the Cornerstone Services group home could negatively impact traffic, safety, neighborhood compatibility and property values.

    On Monday, however, village trustees unanimously supported Cornerstone's plan to build a home for eight adults with developmental disabilities, voting to direct the village attorney to draft an ordinance granting a special use permit for the project.

    Trustee Dan Rippy — himself the father of a daughter with special needs — said he didn't understand the concerns about safety.

    "This isn't a halfway house for criminals or drug addicts, it's for people with disabilities," he said. "... This is a good thing."

    According to Rippy, group homes like the one proposed by Cornerstone, provide peace of mind for parents of children with special needs.

    "Every parent of a special needs child worries, what will happen to their child when they are gone," he said.

    Margie Bonuchi said she doesn't believe the group home will have a negative impact on property values.

    "I would totally support this," she said. "These are our citizens, just like everyone else."

    Trustee Jim Racich also supported the project.

    "Our society has changed for the better," he said. "They are not individuals that have to be hidden ... it shows a positive nature of our community and a positive nature of how our society has changed ... We have to take care of people."

    Trustee Bill Lamb also supported Cornerstone's plans, calling the proposed group home "a benefit to the community."

    Although trustee Garrett Peck voted to support the proposal, he said he attended the Nov. 19 plan commission meeting and had concerns about the potential parking and traffic issues expressed by homeowners in Creekside Crossing.

    "I did support a facility similar to this in the past and it's been a great success," he said. "I don't know if I'm 100 percent on board with this location."

    Under Cornerstone's proposal, the organization would build a brick ranch home at 15606 S. Indian Boundary Rd. for up to eight adults. The group home would be one of 35 Cornerstone homes in Will County. The agency works to provide people with disabilities the opportunity to live and work in the community.

    Planner Michael Garrigan noted that there are already three group homes in Plainfield, including the recently established Easter Seals home in the Heritage Meadows subdivision. On Monday, Police Chief John Konopek said he cannot recall responding to a single incident at any of the group homes, with the exception of providing assistance to the fire department during medical calls.
    Jenn King Radtke December 03, 2013 at 11:24 AM
    So glad that we will have another group home in our community! Families need to know that their loved one is taken care of once they are gone or no longer able to take care of them! Kudos to Plainfield!
    Vicky Polito December 03, 2013 at 02:39 PM
    This is a great thing. So often, I think fears or negative opinions born of ignorance about citizens who live in these homes lead to people saying “oh, that sounds great, just put it in someone else's neighborhood”. But, the people who live in these group homes are good, decent, PEOPLE. Like anyone else they want to live safely, well, and happily. They want to have good work to do and good friends and loved ones to enjoy. Each of these people are loved and valued by others and they give love and care to others without hesitation. They want to live to best of their own abilities and they want to be free and encouraged to find out for themselves instead of having it dictated to them what those abilities are. We must support them in that because it is good for everyone. It’s what is right and smart. So, from our family, we wish in advance many happy days in their new home to whoever will soon be our new Plainfield neighbors!

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