David and Jody represent Young Adult Institute, Inc. (“YAI”) in connection with its efforts to establish a community residential facility in the Town of Mt. Pleasant for six adults with developmental disabilities. Following an in depth search for an appropriate location, YAI notified the Town of its intent to establish the residence in accordance with the requirements of New York Mental Hygiene Law (“MHL”) Section 41.34.
Since its adoption in 1978, MHL Section 41.24, also known as the “Padavan Law” after its champion, Senator Frank Padavan, has protected these types of community residences for individuals with disabilities and their establishment in single-family neighborhoods, unless the municipality can demonstrate that the addition of such a residence would result in an “overconcentration of the same or similar facilities so as to substantially alter the nature and character of the area.”
David and Jody represented YAI at a full-day evidentiary hearing before a Hearing Officer, at which testimony was given by representatives of both YAI and the Town. Following a recommendation by the Hearing Officer in favor of YAI, Theodore Kastner, MD, MS, the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, issued his determination that YAI may establish its proposed community residence. Specifically, Dr. Kastner held that the Town “failed to show clear and convincing evidence that the establishment of the subject community is not needed, or that it would result in an overconcentration of the same or similar facilities to substantially alter the nature and character of the area.”