McLean Neighbors Frustrated with Drug Rehab Coming Next-Door



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Davidson & Kurtz Road Rehab Facility Discussion


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Background on Planned Drug and Rehabilitation Center on Davidson Road

In recent days, members of our McLean community have reached out to inform the PTSA of the planned establishment of drug and rehabilitation centers on Davidson Road (1620, 1622 and 1624) and 1318 Kurtz Road. Following this, Supervisor John Foust’s office was contacted for more information on these planned facilities, and a link to his response to the community is provided here.

Briefly, regulations for group residential facilities are at the Federal and State level, as explained by Supervisor Foust, and the Fairfax County Government has had no prior involvement. Based on community outreach, Supervisor Foust and his team are investigating the proposal by Monroe Operations to see if County regulations are applicable. He plans to keep us informed and directs further questions to his office.

Our McLean PTSA would like to keep our community informed on developing events, so please visit our website  for updated information. 

If you would like an alternate source of information, and to share your views with other parents, consider joining the parent created Facebook page called Davidson Road Rehab Facility Discussion or email mhs.davidsonrd@gmail.com.



4/29/2019

McLean Residents Write to Local Papers to Share Their Frustrations with Drug Rehab Coming Next-Door

Just sent this off to local papers tonight:


On Wednesday, April 24, I, along with 500 of my McLean neighbors attended the community meeting at McLean High School regarding the three residential properties Newport Academies purchased on Davison Road. The community comments were passionate and when the meeting ended at 11p.m., there were still over 100 people advocating for our community. I am writing to express my concern about how Newport Academy has conducted itself in the acquisition of these properties and the initial response from our state and Commonwealth elected leaders.


My family moved to McLean in 2008, and other than a few years away in the Midwest, my children consider McLean “home.” Our eldest will start at McLean High School in the fall, with our youngest following in three years.


I approached Wednesday’s meeting with an open mind, ready to listen to Newport Academy explain why and how they selected the Davidson Road properties. However, not long into their power-point presentation, I had serious concerns.


I am not opposed to community-based treatment for mental health issues. Having experienced first-hand family in treatment, I am a strong supporter of community-based treatment. My concern is about how privately-held, for-profit Newport Academy approached its business dealings with the community that has raised my ire at the company and concerns about their honesty in being a “good neighbor.”


Let’s do the math. Newport Academy purchased three adjacent properties on Davidson Road. Newport Academy claims there will be on average 7 to 9 cars per house at all times - that’s 21 to 27 cars parked on Davidson Road. The CEO of Newport Academy, Jameson Monroe, also stated that along with psychologists and therapists, family is an integral part of recovery treatment. In my experience, a successful treatment program does have strong family involvement. That also means an increase in traffic during visiting hours for the up-to 24 patients who will reside in these three properties for 6-10 weeks (according to CEO Monroe). Additionally, there will be the day-to-day delivery vehicles coming and going from a commercial property. To support the parking required for the vehicular traffic, Newport Academy has paved over much, if not all, of the green space in front of the Davidson Road properties. I am also concerned about rainwater runoff – the water will go where gravity takes it, meaning into the neighboring properties or right down onto Davidson Road.


As the current President of the McLean Swim and Tennis Club (MSTA), that sits 1/8 mile away, I’m concerned about the increase in traffic on this tiny road used by hundreds of kids who walk and bike to the pool. Many of the MSTA families enjoy the club because it is a community club, one where kids and families can walk or bike to enjoy. My concern is that this increase in traffic will put our families and children at risk.


As I stated, I am not opposed to community-based treatment, far from it. I have been the benefits and support efforts to provide treatment that families can fully be a part of. No, my concern (even anger) is how Newport Academy is flouting a “loophole” in the law. Our elected officials at the local and State level eluded that Newport Academy may be exploiting such a loophole here.


My challenge to our elected leadership is this – don’t be passive, engage and question what is going on here. The Federal housing law has a legitimate purpose in protecting against housing discriminating on account of disability, which include addition and mental illness. This does not negate the state and local authorities duties to enforce existing regulations. Query, whether this is actually a congregate living facility under Fairfax County law, a designation that allows for short-term care services for minors. If so, then why hasn’t Newport Academy applied under this law. Has a traffic study been done to look at the impact on the community and high school. Davidson Road is the main access point for students and drop-offs at the school; what will the impact of three group homes be on this narrow two-lane road? Finally, has there been any study or paperwork submitted to show the impact of paving over all green space in front of these homes been done?


I implore the community and our elected leaders to engage on this issue. Yes, mental health issues are the silent killer in our society today. Many people, of all ages, suffer. Treatment options are few and far between for many families. Something like Newport Academy may be an option. Community-based treatment may be an option. McLean is happy and willing to be a good neighbor. We expect the same level of transparency and honesty from those who wish to do business in our community. Newport Academy has not done that here.







I just submitted three letters (the same) to the Sun Gazette, Fairfax Times and the McLean Connection. See below:


I write to you today as a concerned citizen and mother of McLean High School students. Please consider our facts.


McLean is a neighborhood with many selling-points, ideal proximity to DC and all of the benefits of suburbia: a sense of community, good schools, access to community parks and a walk-able neighborhood feel. Like Dorothy said, “there’s no place like home” and McLean is an ideal place to raise a family. Unfortunately, this could all change overnight with the addition of Newport Academy as our new “neighbor”. 


A common misconception is that the community is outraged over the patients that Newport will treat. That’s because rather than listen to what residents are really saying and the questions for which they are seeking answers, Newport and our own elected representatives are playing the “discrimination” card for easy soundbites and media coverage. 


Newport purchased 3 homes on one road and required the real estate agents involved to sign non-disclosure agreements. This is an uncommon practice in real estate transactions (which are generally a matter of public record). Even the CEO, Jamison Monroe could not (or would not) say why. When local residents learned of these purchases, they started to ask questions: had a traffic survey been done? No. Had anyone on the street or at the high school or local elected officials been notified of their purchases of all of the homes? No. 


On Davidson Road which is a poorly maintained, narrow main thoroughfare for McLean High School, Newport Academy will add approximately 80 or more cars per day in-and-out, including at peak shift-change/dismissal around 3pm. Students have already been the victims of car accidents on Westmoreland Street. There are no crosswalks on Davidson, no crossing guards and traffic at 8 am and 3 pm and at evening events already backs up down the street past the proposed site of the Newport compound. 


All of this is peanuts compared to the elephant in the room: how can anyone purchase all of the homes on a cul-de-sac operate and claim that it is a residential use? On that point, residents started to call their representative and ask questions. We were all told that this was a facility of right under federal housing laws so there was nothing that could be done, a “loophole”. This, however, is nothing more than a politically correct soundbite designed to absolve the zoning representatives of their sworn duties. 


Federal housing law has a legitimate interest in protecting against housing discrimination on account of disability (including addiction and mental illness). However, that does not negate the state’s duty to residents to enforce existing regulations. 


This is under Fairfax County law a Congregate Living Facility, a designation that allows for short-term care services to minors. But it also insists on a number of requirements to protect the neighborhood and the minors at the facility; including a traffic study. Why hasn’t Newport Academy applied under this law? It costs money and involves accountability to our local government, neighborhood residence and Newport’s patients. 


Just because Newport Academy says they are the same as any family in any home in Fairfax County does not meant they are. I ask that the Fair Housing Act be applied here, we protect our most vulnerable, we do not allow big business to pervert our laws to avoid compliance and safety regulations that are meant to protect all involved.


I’m awaiting leadership from Supervisor Foust, Delegate Rip Sullivan, the Fairfax zoning board and attorney on how they intend to protect children from Newport Academy’s aggressive bottom line.

Thank you very much,






4/26/2019

The Planned Drug and Rehabilitation Center Owes County Property Taxes?






4/25/2019

Anger erupts in McLean over youth treatment center
Fairfax County is taking a new look into whether Newport Academy's residential homes are legal
By Peggy Fox

MCLEAN, Va. — Angry residents opposing a teen rehab treatment center packed McLean High School Wednesday night. The for-profit Newport Academy bought three homes across the street from the high school. 

More than 600 people attended the meeting to hear from Jamison Monroe, the CEO of Newport Academy, a high-priced teen rehab treatment company.

The company purchased three adjacent homes on a private drive off of Davidson Road. The homes are being turned in to Newport Academies with dormitories for 8 residents each.


Petition to Fairfax County Board of Supervisors



Sign at McLean High School


April 24th, 7PM Community Meeting at McLean High School: Drug Rehab Compound


礼堂内人都坐满了


The 1st on the left is the founder and CEO of Newport Academy


"第一时间村长上电视"


半夜还有人在那拍照


Comments from Social Media

The company certainly planted some insiders/alumnae/employees in the audience for q&a, trying to frame the discussions around the importance of mental health facility for young people. The majority of the audience were furious, and countered back to refocus to THE issue “why do they have to set up the compound in such a highly populated area with a high school so close by.”

The audience is also holding the officials responsible.

It’s such an eye opening experience to be at the meeting, not just for the particular issue at stake, but also seeing how folks stand up and speak out, rightly so, to defend themselves.

家长们,不来可惜了: 大家常念叨的 leadership、public speech skills , 这个会上 live show.

那个老黑发言的真好,一看就是充分准备的。掌声不断。

前面右手边排队的,好像是个亚裔,发言也不错。

我只是作为一位bystander 去批评一下这个stupid idea 和这些光吃干饭花我们税💰的所谓领导们。 主要是觉得对我们整个大社区和McLean High School的小孩影响太大, 确实有很大的安全隐患。



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Putting a three-house business in the middle of a neighborhood did not require a zoning change because Monroe designated them as group homes for people with disabilities. They're protected under the Fair Housing and the American Disabilities Acts. But angry neighbors argued they shouldn't be.

"You're a for-profit business. Don't even try to pretend you're a non-profit," said Victoria Mechlin, one of many citizen speakers at the meeting. She has a disabled child and says she understands the need for group homes. But not these.

"Classifying under the ADA, American disabilities, substance abuse and recovery, yes, it falls under disability, but none of these are actually residents. Residency is meaning, you live here. He's playing it both ways," she said. 

Her argument and others is that the Newport Academy clients are temporary residents. She thinks the federal protections are for permanent residents. Fairfax County supervisor John Foust, who represents McLean, said the county is looking into the fine print to see if Newport Academy is a group home or something else that needs a zoning change. 

"One company buying multiple homes on the same street -- in my opinion, that changes the character of the neighborhood and I am opposed," Foust told the crowd. 



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Peggy Fox

From July to November, the three homes sold separately for a total of about 9 million. The realtor who sold two of them says he was only told an investor was looking to "park cash." He insists he didn't know a treatment center was coming. And after the homes were sold, the secrecy continued with non-disclosure agreements.

Mechlin questioned Monroe about the secrecy, "Group homes don't require that level of discretion. What were you hiding from?" 

"I do not know why we had NDAs," responded Monroe. He later told WUSA9 he doesn't know if there were any NDAs because his company hired a local real estate firm to find the homes and handle the transactions. Monroe said Newport Academy follows all local, state and federal laws -- including laws designed to protect individuals who need help.





Jamison Monroe sent this statement to WUSA9:

Last night’s event was an indication of the terrible stigma facing people seeking mental health treatment. I have heard many disrespectful comments about people with mental health issues, but rarely have I heard prejudice directly leveled against a teenager who speaks openly about her need for services, or a mother who shares intimate details of her daughter’s struggles, as occurred last night. I am so grateful for these brave folks who stood up and shared their personal stories and also for those people in the room who did speak out against the disrespectful behavior. The spirit of the law enacted to protect the people Newport Academy treats, a group of which I am proud to be a member, was to prevent concentrated NIMBY efforts as we are witnessing here, and allow this protected class to be able to receive necessary services outside of institutions.

When I was a teenager, I was sent out of state three different times for treatment because there were not sufficient services available close to my home. It has been shown that when people can be treated closer to home, they do better. Newport Academy currently offers services within seven different communities across the US, and the teens and young adults who come to us for evidence-based treatment include adolescents from Fairfax County, Virginia. For 10 years now, we have been receiving requests from both clinical professionals and families to open a facility in Northern Virginia.


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Newport Academy will always abide by the state and local laws and regulations. The law is clear that group residential facilities for up to eight persons with mental health issues are permitted “by right.” There are no concentration provisions in the county or state code that prevent successive properties from being utilized as group residential facilities. We believe there will be far less impact due to the fact that these are the only three houses on a private road. There is more than sufficient space to park the number of cars that will be at the facility.

All of our services are accredited by the Joint Commission and are covered by health insurance. Families are only responsible for their copays and/or deductible which are outlined in their health insurance benefits plans.



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4/24/2019

Fairfax GOP Announces Slate of School Board Candidates


Nine Candidates Endorsed by Acclamation Last Night

The Fairfax County Republican Committee officially endorsed nine candidates for the Fairfax County Board of Education by acclamation last night in Falls Church, Virginia:

At-Large: Vinson Palathingal
At-Large: Priscilla DeStefano
At-Large: Cheryl Buford
Braddock District: Zia Tompkins
Hunter Mill District: Laura Ramirez Drain
Mount Vernon District: Steven Mosley
Providence District: Andi Bayer
Springfield District: Elizabeth Schultz (Incumbent)
Sully District: Tom Wilson (Incumbent)

“I am thrilled to endorse our fantastic slate of candidates for school board,” Fairfax GOP Chairman Tim Hannigan said today. “All of our candidates are well-qualified, and they are running for the right reasons.”

Mr. Hannigan believes the GOP-endorsed slate of fiscally conservative education reformers has “a real shot” at winning majority control of the school board this November. “The current board majority has only wasted our money,” the chairman lamented. “The board has lost sight of its core mission of fostering student achievement.”

The GOP-endorsed slate would “refocus our public schools on education, not indoctrination,” Mr. Hannigan said. “We need to get back to basics.”

Source: https://fairfaxgop.org/fairfax-gop-announces-slate-of-school-board-candidates/




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4/24/2019

Joe Galdo Launches Bid for County Board Chairman



At last night’s Fairfax GOP meeting, Republican Joe Galdo announced his candidacy for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. The following are his prepared remarks: 

Thank you, Tim. As Tim mentioned, my name is Joe Galdo, and I’m running for Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

I have lived in Fairfax County for 37 years. During that time I have seen traffic congestion worsen, our schools become overcrowded, taxes rise year after year and the county government expand beyond the point of being manageable.

In short, I believe that government has grown too big, too intrusive, and it spends way too much. I am running for Chairman to fix this.

As your Chairman, I will fight to get a handle on spending, so we not only can provide sufficient funding for high priority needs — but also reduce taxes.



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Transparency in government is important to me. I will put the county’s checkbook online, for all taxpayers to see. And why shouldn’t you have quick, easy access to that information? After all, it’s your money!

We must not only fight to make Fairfax County affordable again… it’s also time to make Fairfax safe again!

As your Chairman, I will fight to give our police the tools they need to get drugs and gang violence off our streets, out of our schools, and out of Fairfax County!

Finally, government exists to serve the people — not the other way around.

To that end, I will fight to empower parents with more control over their children’s education. Our public schools need to get back to basics — no more radical indoctrination under the guise of Family Life Education!


    
   
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I am in this race to win — and I intend to spend the next five months campaigning for not only myself, but also for Republican candidates up and down the ballot, all across Fairfax County. Together, we can win this election!

I truly believe that, together, we can make Fairfax affordable again. We can make Fairfax safe again. And yes, we are going to make Fairfax great again!

I will be available after the meeting to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you all, God bless you, God bless Fairfax County, and God bless America!

To learn more about Joe Galdo, or to volunteer, visit his official website at GaldoForChairman.com










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