Since early April, neighbors from the Clearwood and Castle Manor subdivisions have expressed concerns about the proposed new nursing home to be built on the Sacred Heart property, particularly about the proximity of the planned structure to homes on 37th and 38th Avenues.
We attended meetings of both city and county boards, visited neighbors, gathered more than 100 signatures for a petition and wrote letters.
Our concerns included these issues:

  • The loss of privacy, and increase in the potential for noise and light pollution and other nuisances
  • Destruction of a wooded area on the southeast side of the property to make room for the new structure and retaining walls
  • Problems with stormwater runoff in the neighborhood. Retention ponds proposed for the new development appear inadequate, based on neighbors’ experience with the retention pond built to contain runoff from Independence Court
  • Incompatibility of the proposed structure with the residential character of the neighborhood
  • Rumors that the existing Sacred Heart Home may be converted to other uses
  • The process for notifying the community, particularly the neighbors in Clearwood and Castle Manor, was inadequate. When we walked the streets of the area, talking to neighbors and gathering signatures for a petition, most residents were unaware of the proposed development.

Despite the fact that the nursing home is reducing the number of beds in the new facility, the proposal was approved by the county with only minimal revisions.
Neighbors never asked that the proposal to build a new nursing home be scrapped, only that their concerns be heard and taken seriously.
Sadly, this did not happen, and all who care about preserving the character of our neighborhoods are the worse for it.
Mark Graham is a resident of Hyattsville and lives on 38th Avenue.