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Thread: Substance abuse facilities

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    Substance abuse facilities

    Certain neighborhoods in our city have seen an influx of substance abuse facilities. Investors and developers over paid for properties and are unable to develop them because of the real estate downturn. They now are renting the properties to substance abuse facilitators. The local residents have complained to the city at Planning and Zoning and Council meetings that they do not want these facilities in their neighborhood. The city's position is that these facilities can usurp local zoning and licensing thru the Americans with Disabilities Act. The patients are disabled and cannot be discriminated against in housing rights. Can the Americans with Disabilites Act be used by the substance abuse facilites in this manner? Isn't this stretching the law to the point of absurdity?

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    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    Great question - I wouldn't want to touch that one with a ten foot pole. In my city a man kept goats which our attorney said we had to allow because he was a licensed therapist and goats were used in his practice. It's tough when you mix federal law and local laws together.
    I burned down the church to atone for my transgressions.

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    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    When you say substance abuse facilities are you talking about rehabilitation centers, or what?

    And this reminds me of the uproar in my city over a mental health housing project. Isn't this just a case of NIMBY?

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    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RPfresh View post
    When you say substance abuse facilities are you talking about rehabilitation centers, or what?

    And this reminds me of the uproar in my city over a mental health housing project. Isn't this just a case of NIMBY?
    That's what I would need to know as well - what do you mean by "substance abuse facilities"? Does it mean housing, medical services, counseling, all of the above?

    We've had similar situations here where investors are buying properties for the MPRI (prisoner re-entry iniative). We make sure they specifically clarify what will take place on the property and then if it is solely residential we deal with it much like what I posted in the fraternity thread.

    As far as the ADA goes, that's something the City Attorney would have to answer but I'd be curious to hear the answer.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Capt. Rich View post
    Certain neighborhoods in our city have seen an influx of substance abuse facilities. Investors and developers over paid for properties and are unable to develop them because of the real estate downturn. They now are renting the properties to substance abuse facilitators. The local residents have complained to the city at Planning and Zoning and Council meetings that they do not want these facilities in their neighborhood. The city's position is that these facilities can usurp local zoning and licensing thru the Americans with Disabilities Act. The patients are disabled and cannot be discriminated against in housing rights. Can the Americans with Disabilites Act be used by the substance abuse facilites in this manner? Isn't this stretching the law to the point of absurdity?
    It's actually Fair Housing Act if there is no on-site "care" (i.e. think medical). If it is like a halfway house or something similar, sober living facility, etc. Tread lightly. Our City is working on an ordinance to regulate things like sober living care in residential neighborhoods. We have examples of other jurisdictions, but i caution, work with your City Attorney to craft these things.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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