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HERRIMAN — A group of residents is outraged over a residential drug recovery facility planned for their neighborhood. They met with city officials Thursday night to express their concerns, but found there's little that can be done.
The home at 13727 S. Rocky Point Dr. will soon become a women's drug and alcohol recovery center. "It's a 90-day program for individuals struggling with addiction," explained Deborah Wayman, the home's clinical director.
The design for the new "residential rehab" is already in the works. It will house a full staff and seven women, ages 18 to 50. Wayman said the Herriman neighborhood is ideal for the program.
"In a neighborhood, it's about being home. It's about normalizing the lives of these women," Wayman said.
I'm not against rehabbing, but not in a beautiful neighborhood like this.
–Dave Crook, resident
"It was very much a surprise for everyone in the neighborhood," said Dave Crook, who has lived in the area for over a decade. "And everyone is pretty much up in arms about it."
Thursday night, city officials addressed the site plans and the mounting concerns, but Mayor Carmen Freeman told Crook and his neighbors, "there's nothing we can do with these types of facilities. They have every right to come."
"Alcoholics and recovering addicts are given special privileges under the Fair Housing Act. They're actually considered disabled persons," explained Ted McBride, the attorney representing the owner of the new treatment home.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, facilities like this are protected. McBride was at the meeting to make sure that law is upheld.
It's about being home. It's about normalizing the lives of these women.
–Deborah Wayman, clinical director
For Crook, who lives next door to the soon-to-be rehab home, the list of worries continues to grow — including concern for children's safety, parking issues, neighbors concerned about who will be coming and going from the house, property value decreasing, etc.
"I'm not against rehabbing, but not in a beautiful neighborhood like this," Crook said.
However, Wayman said the home will be staffed 24/7 and ensured there is nothing to worry about because it will just be a home for women to get the help they need.