Suspension Of St. John’s Assisted Living License Worries Neighbors

A Butcher’s Hill assisted living facility was shut down in earlier this year, but the operator hopes to reopen in the near future. The facility has struggled with longstanding problems that the city is demanding to be fixed or the property sold.

The St. John’s Assisted Living at 16 South Patterson Park Avenue license was revoked after the state Department of Human Services discovered repeat safety and health violations. After the ruling, the three-story building continued operating as an unlicensed rooming house. The violation prompted city officials to demand the operator to vacate and cease operation.

The property, owned by Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, the Eastern Rite Catholic parish was hit with a $900 fine earlier this month for failing to obtain a use and occupancy permit before the deadline. Within the next 30 days, city officials plan to push the property into receivership, which would permit a third party to auction the property to a new developer. To prevent this from happening, the church will need to convince a judge that it able to do the work.Now that the state’s suspension is lifted, the facility is eligible to reapply for an assisted living license. Founder of the church, Reverend Ivan Dornic, said he plans to reopen the facility, but must first evaluate the cost and seek approval from the church’s board.

Neighbors have viewed the facility as an “eyesore,” saying they are fed up. The property continues to deteriorate, which is concerning to neighbors. Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen vows to push for an expedited process.

“He needs to make a decision quickly,” Cohen said. “We as a community have run out of patience with this particular property owner.”

The state hit the facility with a $10,000 citation in 2014 and in 2015 its license was suspended for operating with insufficient and improperly trained staff.

On May 25, the Baltimore City Fire Department ordered the building vacated after the first alarm system was found not to work. At the time, 26 people and four animals were living in the facility.

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