By Kathleen McWilliams . . . A Superior Court judge has ruled that a private nursing home that provides care to prison parolees does not violate Rocky Hill’s zoning code.
The town claims the 60 West St. nursing home violates the town’s zoning codes because it does not serve traditional nursing home patients. Officials say the facility should not be allowed to operate in a residential area without prior zoning approval.
In a decision released last week, Judge Marshall K. Berger Jr. ruled that the facility conforms to a traditional nursing home use, despite the fact that numerous patients are state referrals and parolees.
“According to testimony and evidence, the 60 West operation was similar to any other nursing home. While some patients may have had certain parole conditions, which were not known or enforced by nursing home employees, the testimony indicates that such a situation exists at all nursing homes,” Berger wrote. “Moreover, not all of the patients were state referrals. [An employee] testified that 60 West does not admit dangerous individuals and has rejected some referrals based on safety concerns.”
The 95-bed nursing home opened in 2013 and provides skilled care to select prison parolees and state mental health patients who are often referrals from the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, as well as the state Department of Correction.
Neighbors testified during the trial in August that the presence of sex offenders had caused unease in the neighborhood and real estate professionals testified that the facility had caused property values in the neighborhood to go down.