North Fulton residents sign petition to keep rehab center out of their neighborhood

North Fulton neighbors have sent Alpharetta officials a petition stating their opposition to a proposed rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol abuse. Photo: For the AJC
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North Fulton neighbors have sent Alpharetta officials a petition stating their opposition to a proposed rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol abuse. Photo: For the AJC

North Fulton neighbors have sent Alpharetta officials a petition opposing a proposed rehabilitation facility for drug and alcohol abuse.

The proposed 62-bed facility would be located in Alpharetta and borders Roswell homes in Taylor Oaks and Hembree Forest subdivisions. If approved by Alpharetta, Florida-based Advanced Recovery Systems would operate a rehabilitation center for patients ages 18 years and older who suffer from substance abuse and mental health disorders related to their addiction, an Alpharetta report said.

The center would open inside an existing building on Pointe Place at the intersection of Upper Hembree Road and would offer both in-patient and out-patient care.

The Alpharetta Planning Commission was scheduled to consider an amendment to a master plan for the 13-acre site during a Thursday meeting, as well as a change in zoning to allow for substance abuse and related rehabilitation at the center. The location was approved in 1995 for office and retail space, according to Alpharetta. It was developed in 1998 for The Veranda at Pointe Place nursing home, which recently closed.

Alpharetta City Council isn’t scheduled to consider the rehabilitation facility until November.

City staff is advising officials to approve the facility, but many residents disagree with the recommendation. Dawn Fix, who lives in Taylor Oaks subdivision, drafted a petition in April that was signed by more than 80 residents objecting to the rehab facility and sent it to Alpharetta officials.

“Some homes have no fences and are only a few feet from this facility,” the petition reads. “Is it safe for our children to play in the woods behind our homes with residents that need to be locked in and supervised when outside? Will they overhear inappropriate conversations?”

Advanced Recovery officials couldn’t be immediately reached for comment for this article.

Advanced Recovery mailed a letter to area residents in March to notify them of plans for the facility with information that private attorney Don Rolader would be available to answer questions. Fix told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday that she found that few neighbors opened the letter and were unaware of plans for the rehab center until she started knocking on their doors.

“(Advanced Recovery), they need to find something that is not in people’s backyards,” Fix told the AJC, adding that she’s worried about safety and home values.

Fix planned to make a public comment at Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting at Alpharetta City Hall, she said. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. and is usually streamed on the city website.

Several treatment centers for substance abuse are located nearby including five less than a half-mile away from the proposed Pointe Place location. One of those five, Sunrise Detox Atlanta in Alpharetta is a 30-bed facility. The other four are out-patient centers.