Classic Case - Battle on Brimmer Street: Mental Health Siting Dispute in the State of Maine

Battle on Brimmer Street: Mental Health Siting Dispute in the State of Maine


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  • Product Description

    The protagonists of this decision-forcing case are a non-profit housing developer and a state agency, who are working cooperatively to establish a group home for mentally handicapped adults in a residential neighborhood of Brewer, Maine. To head off any trouble, the developer has conducted a low-key educational campaign in the neighborhood. But this effort has apparently backfired. The neighbors are fiercely and persistently resisting the plan. After a month of steadily escalating tension, the developer and the state are faced with a decision: to give up on this particular site, or to fight it out. The case provides background on Maine's effort to deinstitutionalize its handicapped residents, an explanation of how the Brewer site was chosen, and a sketch of Brewer itself. The bulk of the case consists of a detailed chronology of the month--long neighborhood dispute--how it began, how the developer and the state attempted to defuse it, how the arguments were framed. The exhibits--an extensive collection of fliers and newspaper clippings--convey the mood of the community. A brief epilogue tells how the dispute was resolved.

    Learning Objective:
    The case gives students a chance to analyze the ways the developer and state handled this particular siting dispute, and offers a vehicle for discussion on dealing with community resistance to projects.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1987
    HKS Case Number: 790.0
    Case Author: Pamela Varley
    Faculty Lead: Dan Fenn Jr.
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 35
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    _pages: 25+
    _geography: US & Canada
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