Group home plans fall through

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 14, 2004

MURFREESBORO – The place that Larry Murray once had his sights set on to use as alternative family housing is no longer cause for apprehension by adjacent Murfreesboro home owners.

In a Murfreesboro Planning Board meeting held here last week, citizens breathed a sigh of relief when they heard news that the group home planned for their neighborhood is no longer on the drawing board.

&uot;We support the idea of entrepreneurship,&uot; said Murfreesboro homeowner Lilly Owens White speaking with sentiments shared by several other concerned residents present at the meeting. &uot;We just wanted to address our concerns,&uot; she said.

The company sought to offer 24-hour supervised residential treatment for emotionally disturbed and mentally challenged adolescents, ages 13-17, in a group home setting upon referral from the judicial system and mental health agencies across the state.

Board Chair Bynum Brown allowed the residents to speak despite Murray’s absence from the gathering.

&uot;Anything this board does affects others,&uot; he said. &uot;We respect the rights of entrepreneurs and developers just as we respect individual’s rights and we understand that when you buy a home there is a reasonable expectation for the community to remain much the way it was when you bought it.&uot;

The major concerns expressed during the meeting centered on safety of the elderly in the community, the potential impact on homeowners’ taxes, rezoning and traffic.

According to Town Administrator Molly Eubank, Murray cancelled his presentation when his plans fell through. &uot;He did not feel the need to address the board,&uot; she said.

Murray’s extended goals included expanding the operation to additional homes in the area that would serve in rehabilitating sex offenders and those recovering from substance abuse problems.

His plans for the future are unknown, as he could not be reached for comment.