One after another, citizens stood before the Bryan City Council asking them to not allow Personal Care Homes in residential neighborhoods. The council voted 6-1 to allow the homes if the owner gets a conditional use permit from the city. The city has several of the small businesses which have up to three elderly or disabled people who are cared for 24/7.
A crew from KBTX went to one of the unregulated nursing homes in Bryan to see what it was like inside and met with the owner of ‘The Grace Place’, Tommie Sue Powers.
"I think it's almost turned into a mob-like thinking where you can't even listen to the other side,” said Powers.
Powers says she is frustrated because she feels one or two bad apples have ruined it for everyone. That Bad Apple she says is The Rose Home and its owner Rose Rodriguez. Rodriguez faces several allegations of mistreatment and is expected to stand trial later this year for perjury. Officials closed The Rose Home last year.
Some residents told News 3 they want the homes regulated if they're going to operate in Bryan. To avoid problems like those reported at The Rose Home such as piles of trash in the streets and several cars parked around the home-operated business. We did not find those kinds of problems at The Grace Place.
"I think there should be a check and balance. I think that doesn't bother me, but I don't know who it would be that would have the time to do that,” said Powers when asked if businesses like hers should be closely monitored.
Right now the state only does an inspection if a complaint is filed against an unregulated nursing home or Personal Care Home. Powers is not required to obtain a nursing home license because she only has up to three patients in her home at one time.
The Bryan Planning and Zoning Commission could still come up with a new ordinance regarding Personal Care Homes.
We did check with the City of College Station to see what rules it has pertaining to these kinds of homes. A city spokesperson says as long as the Personal Care Homes abide by a city ordinance that doesn't allow more than four unrelated residents in the same home, then it is not violating any city ordinance. However the city spokesperson told News 3 that the city it is not currently aware of any Personal Care Homes located in College Station.