Public hearing on controversial rehab center to continue

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LEE COUNTY, Fla.- An intense public debate over a controversial drug rehab facility will resume Thursday.

The proposed rehab center is described by the facility director as a Holistic Medicine Center that would provide in-patient treatment for people with alcoholism and other substance abuse issues.

The applicant is trying to rezone a 17,000 square foot mansion on Winkler Road for this purpose, but people in that neighborhood are against it.

About 30 people showed up to voice their concerns Wednesday over the proposed drug and alcohol rehab facility.

Many are worried about how safe the neighborhood would be with close to 100 patients living next door.

“You know addicts are desperate people and I don’t want that desperation coming over a fence, coming into my backyard where my two 10-year-old daughters are playing, absolutely that’s a concern,” said Amy Barnes.

The company assured the crowd that there will be security 24/7 and that they will not accept any patients with a criminal record.

“We have taken every single step to ensure that nobody gets hurt, and people are gonna get helped,” said Bill Jarvis.

Others are worried the rehab center will cause their property values to decrease, and want it somewhere  else.

“They wanna help people, so do we, but this is not the place to help these people,” said Barbara Ross.

“As far as the location, between the medical offices of college parkway and the faith based communities of cypress lake, it’s the perfect location because our facility is where medicine meets faith,” said developer Tom Mouracade.

The hearing will pick up at 9 a.m. Thursday morning at the Public Works Center at 1500 Monroe Street.

County commissioners will vote on whether to approve the rezoning request in a few weeks.

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