0

Citizens fight recovery residence (updated)

Residents of a West Albany neighborhood say they don't want a drug/alcohol recovery residence located there.

ALBANY, Ga. — It's not that Chris McMillan, Robert Miller and dozens of residents in their West Albany neighborhood just off Dawson Road between the Shackleford House and Crown Hill Cemetery are any less "Christian" than other citizens of Southwest Georgia.

They are, however, concerned about such things as an unsavory element being drawn to a neighborhood that is teeming with children and elderly citizens or the property values of houses they've lived in for decades.

McMillan and Miller were among more than 30 citizens from the Green Acres and Woodland subdivisions who asked the Albany City Commission Tuesday not to allow the development of a women's recovery halfway house at 1813 Valley Road.

"We've talked to officials — to (City Commissioners) Chris Pike and Roger Marietta and to (City Manager) James Taylor — and they've told us they're doing what they can, but it seems that their hands are tied," McMillan said before the meeting. "From what they've told us, the way city ordinances are drawn right now, anybody can start this kind of facility anywhere in the city as long as they don't have more than six residents in their home.

"But we're concerned about how it will impact our neighborhood. You can expect the ex-boyfriends of these residents or drug dealers and prostitutes to come around when they find out there is a recovery center in the neighborhood. And we've had a real estate agent tell us that our property values — which are already low because of the economy — will go down significantly if this facility is located in our neighborhood."

Efforts to reach Michele Frazier, who invited residents in the neighborhood to attend a forum Aug. 18 to explain plans for the 1st Step 2 Recovery Inc. residence, were unsuccessful.

In a prebriefing before the commission's night meeting, Commissioner Bob Langstaff and City Attorney Nathan Davis told the citizens they would review case law to see just what they can do in the matter.

"What we can do locally is limited by federal law," Langstaff, an attorney, told the audience. "We're looking to see if we can be more restrictive, but this kind of thing is going to happen more often as the state tries to move people out of state-run facilities."

Marietta said before the meeting that he and Pike had been working with Davis to determine whether city law concerning the location of such residences should be amended.

"As it now stands, anybody could start one of these residences in any neighborhood in the city without approval of the Planning Commission or the City Commission," Marietta said. "The city attorney is looking into the possibility of revising the ordinance, particularly if any kind of group home involves (residents involved in) some type of criminal activity.

"We're researching whether there should be higher standards in such cases."

Miller said he's not disturbed by the criticism of some who condemn efforts to stop the location of the recovery residence in his neighborhood as "unChristian."

"People can say we're heartless because of this, but that's not true," he said. "We're all on board for getting people who need it into rehab; all of us know people or have family members who've needed that kind of help. But this is just bad business. Our property values are going to suffer if they bring this to our neighborhood."

Comments

Albanite 2 years, 3 months ago

I also live on Valley and consider it to be an honor that they've chosen our neighborhood. Frankly, anyone with one working eye can simply drive around this small area and see that many of those houses are already falling apart and have been in disrepair for years. When McMillan and the others actually become honestly concerned about property values, they can start by repairing some of the broken down homes all around them. In any case, it is immoral, if not illegal to pass a law that targets one person's otherwise lawful endeavors.

2

KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

Not sure what houses you are talking about in that area but that is one of the most well kept areas in this town. I don't live on Valley but walk down Valley Road a lot and live near there. I support Mr. McMillian's efforts.

2

BettyBowTie 2 years, 3 months ago

I Have not seen any bad homes over on Valley. I know the area well.

1

sadandmad 2 years, 3 months ago

I too live on Valley and am ashamed of the attitude of my fine upstanding neighbors, especially the recent past chariman of the board at the Anchorage whose name was on the petition to save our neighborhood from this "blight". What better way to show our love for Christ than to show love to the least of these, to be His hands and feet. Again, I say shame on you

0

KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

This isn't a religion thing at all. You have misunderstood our point. We are fighting lots of crime in that area and our property values have already decreased over the years due to rental properties and land values decreasing in Do. Co. Shame on you for finger pointing that we are NOT Christians. This is NOT about religion but about the safety of our neighborhood and property values. This could also pave the way for many more to do the same thing in our neighborhood. If you want to live next door to that type of housing then fine but some of us do not and we have that right to express how we feel as concerned citiznes. Do NOT throw religion into this mess. No one mentioned it until the Bible thumpers started with that crap. You should be ashamed for throwing more fuel on the fire.

1

KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

BTW, I do not actively practice any religion so calling me names like Unchristian will not hurt me at all. Just thought I would let you know before you throw any more stones at me.

1

REM 2 years, 3 months ago

1901 Dawson (faces Forest Glen on Green Acres side), 1201 Forest Glen, 1215 Forest Glen, 1810 Valley, 1224 N. Hilltop, 1211 N. Hilltop, 1800 N. Hilltop AND 1813 Valley could all use significant exterior and interior updates to make them presentable. All are within a block of the proposed center). The home slated to be used as the alcohol and drug recovery center (1813 Valley) looks awful and has for some time. Ms. Fraizer says she plans to fix it up. Sounds good to me, and I live next door; I have since I was five.

0

erudite 2 years, 3 months ago

Have McMillan, Miller and others who live in the area been clamoring that 'something should be done' for these women? But now that it is their back yard, these women are someone else's problem?

I agree with Albanite; use your 'upstanding, Christian' personalities to welcome the women and help them out instead of saying 'not my problem'.

Look at how well 'it's not my problem' has worked here in Albany. Make it YOUR problem and then YOU can be part of the SOLUTION!

2

danielle1 2 years, 3 months ago

I guess the child molesters and drug dealers that live on every street in Albany dont make property values decline? Or how about lets not help these women and let them walk, live, and work on the streets. I am sure that will increase property value as much as the active gangs in this town along with the nightly smash and grabs. Heartless. And obviously if the drug dealers and prostitutes are in the facility they are seeking a positive change and help to change their lifestyles, they can leave the center at their own will so I am sure if they wanted to relapse they would leave the facility and the area. Its not just the gang bangers and drug dealers that make Albany an awful town to live in, its ignorant people like this that dont welcome positive change.

2

whattheheck 2 years, 3 months ago

Why didn't the three "formers" of the INC put it in their neighborhood on Timber LN? There are houses in that area.

1

FryarTuk 2 years, 3 months ago

You folks over there have a back up plan if you're depending on Roger Marietta to fight that rehab unit.

0

KaosinAlbany 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually, this is in Chris Pikes' ward so really it's his problem and not Marietta's

0

DoctorDorite 2 years, 3 months ago

A house full of wild women living next door would be fine with me but it would drive my wife nuts. It would be like an alcoholic living next door to a liquor store. Maybe they will decide to locate in my neigborhood. LOL

0

Roy 2 years, 3 months ago

The only home I've seen on Valley in need of repair is because it's owned by some fool that's asking an exorbitent price for it. For many people here, especially the elderly. this is their chief investment. Go find somewhere else to bring down property values! And if this makes me "unchristian" then BFD.

2

ittybittyme 2 years, 3 months ago

What makes all of you folks over there in that neighborhood think you or your area of town is better than any other area in town for this type of facility? So, you all would be okay if this facility was put over in the avenues or the east side. Get a grip, everybody's property values are down. Crime is everywhere in Albany, you are not immune. As for the Christian aspect of this issue, a facility is needed. It would be nice if there was a place WE ALL COULD AGREE ON for such a place. I am sick and tired of certain areas and certain citizens of Albany thinking that they should be immune to any negative change or positive change. Get over yourselves, we all are having to deal with it. Put on your big girl panties and take care of business.

0

Sign in to comment