Converting house to assisted living facility upsets some Belle Isle residents

Article + Video Courtesy of Channel 9 -- ABC Orlando

Published May 16, 2013

 Watch VIDEO

BELLE ISLE, Fla. -- There are plans to turn a house, in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood, into an assisted living facility.

The house is in a subdivision in Belle Isle.

On a quiet cul-de-sac in Belle Isle, folks aren't too happy about the new owners of a four-bedroom two-bath home that sold in March for $316,000.

"It's not what we expected. It's not what we expected when we purchased here," said neighbor Rob Sueto.

No one lives in the house now, but work permits describe electrical and plumbing work that is planned, and outlines designs to convert the dining room into another bedroom.

A ramp for wheelchairs has been installed.

"It's going to be a small business, like a nursing home or something. There will be traffic coming through all the time, said Sueto. "(It's) right across the street in the back of a residential neighborhood."

The homeowners association forbids running businesses out of homes, but neighbors said a company called Newport Senior Link bought the house.

The company, according to their website, operates "private homes modified to meet state inspection requirements ... smaller homes are particularly good for seniors who prefer a homelike environment ... residents receive more one-on-one attention because they are typically limited to six seniors in the home."



"We were surprised," said Sueto.

The neighborhood HOA has hired a lawyer to try and stop the new neighbors from moving in.

Florida law allows assisted living in private homes under certain circumstances, and the rules are complicated. A bill that would have beefed up oversight of the facilities failed in this year's legislative session.