FORT MYERS, Fla.- The code enforcement board ordered a drug rehab center on East Riverside Drive to close by Friday. The board ruled Sovereign Health operated in the middle of a neighborhood without the proper permits.
The attorney representing Sovereign Health sparred with board members over the technicality that the business wasn’t exclusively a drug and rehabilitation facility. Sovereign Health, however, has numerous publications advertising drug and rehab services.
The problem is that the property is only zoned for a residential care facility.
All but one board member sided with the residents to close the center.
“We’re very glad that the code enforcement board did issue the cease and desist order,” said BJ Hamilton, a neighbor, “We know that this is not over, but it is step number one. Hopefully we will continue to do the right thing and they will be shut down.”
If Sovereign Health does not close by Friday, the owners face a fine of $250 a day, starting March 14.
Sovereign Health owners can reapply for the proper zoning permit if their intention is to operate as a residential care facility.
The attorney representing Sovereign Health declined to comment.