- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Opposition has greeted a nursing home’s request to create a guest house in a Grand Rapids neighborhood for visiting nuns and family members of people in hospice care.

The Grand Rapids Press reports (https://bit.ly/1wg5Pcs ) St. Ann’s Home is seeking city approval of a zoning permit to house occasional visitors in a house it owns. Some neighbors, however, say a guest house could destroy the integrity of their neighborhood.

Thomas VanGemert, who lives next to the home that would become a guest house, says St. Ann’s Home “may not stop at just this house.”

A hearing is Thursday before the Grand Rapids Planning Commission. A petition of opposition to the zoning permit has been signed by seven neighbors.

St. Ann’s Home, which is owned and operated by the Carmelite Sisters religious order, is asking to house family members of nursing home residents nearing the end of their lives. The house involved is a three-bedroom ranch with a two-car garage.

St. Ann’s Home spokesman Tim Bulson says nuns would visit the house three or four times a year with three or four women staying at a time. Bulson says the guest house would be used by visiting family members at no cost perhaps five to eight times per year.

Stephanie and Jeffrey Busch wrote a letter to the city, saying the neighborhood’s stability is help keeping people from moving to the suburbs in Grand Rapids. They say approval “will allow our neighborhood homes to disappear from residential use one at a time.”

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, https://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids


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