Proposed substance abuse center needs careful scrutiny |

Proposed substance abuse center needs careful scrutiny

Proponents of the Mountain Haven Center say they want to develop an upscale “Betty Ford” style of substance abuse treatment facility in Grass Valley.

The center would cost $8,500 for a 30-day stay and clients would follow a regimen of exercise, classes and counseling to deal with their problems.

Proponents say they want to assure neighbors the 18-room center, which would be in a former convalescent hospital on Cedar Avenue off of Squirrel Creek Road, will not bring in problems associated with substance abuse.

There will be an 11 p.m. curfew, they say, and clients can’t leave or have visitors during their first month or have cars on the property. Proponents also said they want neighbors to contact them.

We suspect some neighbors might have some concerns about such a facility. Some might also speculate about the feasibility of the location. It’s a short walk from Lyman Gilmore Middle School and Gallino Scotten School, not to mention Condon Park.

We don’t doubt that the proponents, Charles and Cheryl Greene and Ron Green, are sincere in their efforts to develop a quality facility.

The three are drug and alcoholism counselors and appear to be making quite a financial sacrifice to develop the project.

The three bring expertise and the necessary capital, we trust. One of the applicants also expressed the hope of opening in July, which might be a tad optimistic. Helping people kick substance abuse problems is noble work but it also brings challenges and risks.

A handshake agreement won’t suffice. The rules governing the center, particularly those restricting patient activity, need to be carefully spelled out in the use permit.

In 10 years, there may well be new operators at the center with different ideas about running it. So Grass Valley city staff should take its time to carefully scrutinize the project.

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