Neighbors protest center for substance abusers
Neighbors say they don’t want a yet-to-be-proposed drug and alcohol treatment center near two Grass Valley schools.
Several Cedar Avenue residents say their neighborhood is not the right place for the treatment center which three drug and alcoholism counselors hope to open soon.
Charles and Cheryl Greene and former co-worker Ron Green plan to file their application next week for a use permit to open a 21-client maximum treatment center in a former convalescent home. They plan to charge each client $8,500 per month at the facility behind Scotten Elementary and Lyman Gilmore Middle schools.
The trio has been painting and preparing to open this summer and received their fire inspection clearance Friday, Cheryl Greene said. They plan to live in a home on the two-acre property.
“We found this quiet little street. My husband and I have a daughter about to go into Scotten,” said Amy Tuggle, a resident of Cedar Avenue and six houses away from the proposed center. “I’m really leery about having that go in down the street.”
Krissa Connelley, a 16-year resident of Lamby Lane, opposes the center “for obvious reasons: I have kids.” Cedar is practically a one-lane road, and more traffic poses a problem to her.
Gabrielle Lacau, whose lives next door to the proposed facility, said the Greenes and Green seem nice, but that she feared how the property could be zoned.
“A drug addict’s a drug addict,” Lacau said. “I don’t care if they have a lot of money. Anywhere these drug rehabilitation centers are, property values totally decrease. I don’t care if movie stars are in there or not.”
Joanne Barsby, who lives three doors up on Cedar, said her concerns were, “first and foremost my property values. Put it in Brunswick. It would fit in right there.”
She also has concerns about how secure the facility would be.
The county is required to hold a public hearing and to notify neighbors within 300 feet of the facility as part of a use-permit application, said Stephanie Wagner, senior planner with Nevada County. Such a facility is allowed under the current zoning, she said.
The Greenes and Green must also file an application with the state’s drug and alcohol commission for certification of their curriculum and a license to do drug and alcohol treatment, Cheryl Greene said.
“Neighbors will probably not even know they’re here,” she said about clients. The clients would not be murderers and rapists, but professional people who have a substance abuse problem, she said.
“They are not going to want anyone to know they’re here, so they’ll be low-profile,” she said. Clients would be supervised 24 hours a day and not allowed to leave.
“Kids are not endangered by people being here getting treatment,” Cheryl Greene said. “They’re not a threat to children anyway. There won’t be drugs and alcohol here.
“There are kids drinking in the park across the street from us, and that’s a much bigger threat to kids than we are,” Cheryl Greene said about Condon Park.
Jon Byerrum, superintendent of the Grass Valley District Office, said neighbors had contacted him about the possible facility a couple of times, but that he would have to see the application to determine whether the facility poses a risk to children.
“Anything that poses a risk to students I will oppose, but I need to study whether this poses a risk,” he said.
Byerrum said it was a generalization to say any treatment center would pose a risk.
Cheryl Greene said she had contacted some neighbors and, “just a handful of people are upset. Some support us. I’m not panicking over this at all. We’re not going to negatively impact the neighborhood at all.”
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