OSCEOLA -

This summer, a 91-year-old woman with dementia wandered away from a home in St. Joseph County.

Police found her dehydrated but okay.

After the story broke, the county discovered 19 people living in the home known as "Dolly's House."

But it's zoned as a single family residence.

The woman who owns the home is asking the county is she can be rezoned as a group home.

The Area Board of Zoning Appeals on Wednesday gave Dolly's House a "favorable recommendation" by a vote of 4-2, but the owner of the home cannot have more than 12 people living there at the same time under the board recommendation.

A dozen people spoke in favor of keeping Dolly's House open, while about a half dozen were against it.

"I don't know what we would have done or will do, and I'm worried about the future of not having this facility for our patients, which is short-term patients in crisis," said  Peggy Hickey of Memorial Hospital's Social Services.

Penn Township Fire Marshal Brian Mayo, on the other hand, said, "We have a genuine concern about the number of people in one residence."

The Area Plan Commission already gave the request an unfavorable recommendation. The County Council has the final say and will hold a public hearing at an upcoming meeting.