BY CLARA VAUGHN, Eastern Shore Post —
A Texas company is interested in using the former Quail Run Assisted Living facility in Gargatha to provide temporary housing for unaccompanied minors under U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Refugee Resettlement care.
The center could provide over 200 job opportunities, according to a two-page document Responsive Deployment LLC sent to Accomack County.
However, this type of property use is not allowed in any zoning districts in Accomack County and the Board of Supervisors is not considering changing the zoning ordinance, County Administrator Mike Mason said in a statement Tuesday.
A Responsive Deployment representative contacted the county by email May 12 to express interest in beginning the process to amend the county’s zoning ordinance to allow a children’s residential facility as a conditional use in the Agricultural District, where Quail Run falls, Mason said.
“According to my conversations with Chairman (Robert) Crockett, the company’s request will not be taken up by the board now or in the future,” he said.
To change the ordinance, the board of supervisors would first need to adopt a resolution initiating the amendment that would allow such a facility as a conditional use, and then refer the matter to the county’s planning commission for a recommendation, Mason said.
“For something like that to happen, there’s an extensive process that includes multiple public meetings,” he said.
“It literally takes months for that to happen,” Mason added.
“There has been no such action by the board of supervisors.”
Responsive Development is a company serving government and commercial clients and has served as contractor in military installations in the United States and abroad.
According to the document it sent Accomack County, the company proposed using the former Quail Run property to provide temporary care for unaccompanied teens, age 13 to 17, from Central and South America, with a focus on unifying children with family or sponsors.
Other goals in the document included assisting youth in integrating back into the community; providing a vocational or educational environment; creating a plan for each child that includes case management, behavior health, and medical care; and providing training opportunities for staff.
Responsive Deployment CEO Rick Geisel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Quail Run Assisted Living closed in 2018. The former 60-bed nursing home and 42-bed assisted living facility has been unoccupied since, to the best of Mason’s knowledge.
The property is at 17425 Lankford Highway, Nelsonia.