LIVERMORE FALLS – A possible use for the former Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center met resistance from the Planning Board Wednesday night.

Planners first objected to discussing the matter that was not on its written agenda but then relented to hear the basics.

Armand Madore of Mexico, agent for Western Maine Assessment Inc., explained that he only wanted to discuss a pre-application for a group home.

Quoting from the town’s Site Plan Review Ordinance, he suggested his plan should be exempted from review as it was the same use (caring for human beings) as was its previous life as a nursing home.

Planner Elicia Pillsbury objected, saying that caring for troubled youngsters was different from caring for the elderly.

Madore countered that his attorney had indicated the application should be waived as it fell under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the only difference being age.

You cannot discriminate because of age, he said. “This is a therapeutic center, offering the same services,” Madore said.

In his application, Madore listed the nature of his project as “Residential home and rehabilitation center for 12 children, ages six to 12 years old.”

His description continued, “Children will receive counseling and education. These children have been abused, neglected and need assistance to prepare them for foster care and adoption.”

He stressed to the board that these are not children who have “acted out” sexually but who have been taken from their homes and need to make adjustments to be placed in foster care.

Residents would be only boys, he said, who have been obtained from the Department of Human Services. The student-to-staff ratio would be 2-1 during awake hours, and 3-1 during asleep hours. Staff consists of both teachers and counselors.

Madore said his appearance before the board was the first step in a process that includes state inspection and licensing.

Rather than subject the youngsters to short-term stays in the public schools, he would provide in-house education.

“These are children who have been taken from their homes, it’s too scary to subject them to a new school, new kids and no friends,” Madore said.

Having an on-site school justified to the board that a site plan review, with public hearing, should be done, as it is a new use for the building.

Madore requested a letter to that effect, one which will be sent to him after the code officer gets legal advise regarding the waiver request.

Although Larry Grant was on hand as code enforcement officer, and had been the contact for Madore, the follow-up will be done by Brenda Medcoff who will officially resume her duties as code enforcement officer on Tuesday.

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