Letter: Treatment-center proposal could hurt community character


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Letter: Treatment-center proposal could hurt community character

Editor: There has been unrest among numerous McLean residents regarding Newport Academy’s quiet purchase of a cluster of three large homes near McLean High School and one close to Franklin Sherman Elementary School.

Senior citizens and people with disabilities have long lived in group homes in McLean, as long-term or permanent residents. The for-profit Newport Academy, in contrast, has plans to develop a large cluster of facilities for teenage children in need of medical help, with eight clients per home, 32 patients in total, at a daily cost of $1,000 a day per patient.

To date, Newport Academy has been unwilling to apply for a county zoning permit to operate as a congregate-living facility, which would require, among other accountability measures, setback requirements and a traffic-impact study.

Newport Academy’s compounds will require several dozens of staff to operate. Those numbers climb further when accounting for all the additional visitors that will come in and out.

The wave of people, vehicles, and commercial activity in residential neighborhoods adjacent to schools, a community swim club and Lewinsville Park will not only disrupt the neighborhood, but also threaten our children as they walk, bike or scooter. The cluster of treatment facilities undoubtedly will strain local emergency services.

We urge our local and state politicians and zoning authorities to prevent Virginia from becoming the new breeding ground for corporations that abuse the Fair Housing Act to further their own rapid growth and profit at the expense of the character and well-being of residential communities.

Peter and Kim Tomsen, McLean


Protect our Neighborhoods from corporations abusing the Fair Housing Act!

Say “No” to Newport Academy

Protecting the Fair Housing Act from Abuse

– The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act protect the most vulnerable among us from discrimination in obtaining residence in any neighborhood.  The disabled include those recovering from addiction and those with mental illness.  Group homes serve a greater purpose for the community as a whole by allowing the disabled to obtain residences within a community setting and transition back into the community.  To that end, senior citizens and people with disabilities have long lived in group homes in McLean, as long term or permanent residents.  Many work here, participate in local activities– they are a part of the fabric of our community.  Not only is this permitted by law, but this is welcome.

This is NOT Newport Academy.

Newport Academy is a Congregate Living Facility and NOT a Group Home

– Newport Academy has obtained these homes “by right” under Virginia state law by alleging to operate these facilities as “group homes.”  The “by right” and “group home” self-designations are what allow Newport Academy to house and treat their patients in these facilities without any special zoning compliance.  The company CEO, Jamison Monroe, Jr specifically stated that these patients will be staying for periods of 6-10 weeks at a time and did not guarantee that these would be local members of the community or patients with any ties to the community.  Virginia tax law defines residency as a minimum of 183 days.  These patients will not be residents of these homes but rather 6-10 week patients of a treatment facility.

Newport Academy is able, but unwilling, to apply for a county zoning permit that would allow them to operate as a Congregate Living Facility (CLF).  A CLF allows for treatment on a short-term basis to patients, including minors.  CLF permits include, among other accountability measures, facility set back requirements and a traffic impact study.

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Significant Strain on Resources

– Newport Academy has purchased three contiguous homes on Davidson Rd and another home just over a mile away on Kurtz Rd.  This four home compound will temporarily house 32 teenagers for a duration of 6-10 weeks each.  That is about 166 to 277 different teenagers in the neighborhood each year.  The four house compound will also require several dozens of staff to operate.  Those numbers climb further when accounting for all the additional visitors that will come in and out of the compound on a daily basis: counselors, therapists, family, friends, delivery trucks, and crews carrying supplies and foods.

The wave of people, vehicles, and commercial activity in residential neighborhoods adjacent to schools (McLean High School and Franklin Sherman Elementary School), a community swim club, and Lewinsville park, will not only disrupt the neighborhood, but also threaten our children as they walk, bike or scooter to school and the aforementioned locations.  Furthermore, this cluster of treatment facilities will undoubtedly strain local emergency services as other jurisdictions have reported a significant increase in police and EMT services calls to other Newport Academy locations.

Newport Academy Fails Good Neighbor Test

– Newport Academy secretly and deceptively purchased four homes in McLean.  The community, including local elected officials, only became aware of Newport Academy’s plans after it abruptly paved the front and side yards of the contiguous homes on Davidson Rd for parking.  This unusual landscape change led neighbors to research what was happening, eventually learning that it was not individual private buyers, but a corporate entity doing business as Newport Academy, that had purchased all four homes.  The deceptive nature of their property acquisitions has already fractured that good neighbor relationship that the patients of these facilities would need.  Newport Academy was also delinquent in payment of their state taxes from their purchases to Virginia this past year (only paying after being made aware by the public).  They are also delinquent in tax payment for several years for their Connecticut facility.

This is national problem now entering our neighborhoods

– The new provisions of the Affordable Care Act brought a welcome increase in the availability of mental health care.  However, with widened provisions, there are those who stand to profit from the increased availability of insurance covered services.  Between the opioid crisis and the widened provisions of the ACA, the growth of Newport Academy type facilities has boomed in the last 5-10 years.  There are multiple articles from around the country about multiple municipalities catching up their zoning laws to limit the density of these facilities entering their residential communities.  Regulations of these facilities for the safety of their residents and the communities these facilities are in, have been lagging the pace of their expansion.  We could intervene to prevent Virginia from becoming the new breeding ground for these corporations that sacrifice quality care for their patients and sacrifice the character and well being of the communities they build in, for their own rapid growth and profit.

Contact your elected officials TODAY and insist that Newport Academy be held to the original intent of the law.

Local and State Officials:

Supervisor John Foust
(703) 356-0551

State Senator Barbara Favola
(703) 835-4845

Delegate Rip Sullivan
(571) 210-5876

Delegate Kathleen Murphy
(804) 698-1034

Federal Officials:

Senator Mark Warner
(chief of staff Mike Harney):
(202) 224-2023

Senator Tim Kaine
(chief of staff Mike Henry):
(202) 224-4024

Congressman Donald Beyer, Jr
(chief of staff Ann O’Hanlon):
(202) 225-4376


Rehab Business Invading Residential Neighborhoods Next to Schools

Davidson & Kurtz Road Rehab Facility Discussion

A community group to coordinate responses to proposed psychiatric/drug treatment facility near McLean public schools


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.


This just in from Supervisor Foust:

“Dear Resident,

Thank you for contacting me regarding Monroe Capital Holdings, LLC’s proposal to operate mental health facilities on Davidson Road and Kurtz Road in McLean. I want to provide a brief update and status on efforts at the County to evaluate the land use issues raised by these proposals.

I have received many emails and phone calls regarding this matter. Some of the emails contained potentially helpful analysis of legal and factual issues and those documents have been forwarded to the County Attorney’s office and the Zoning Administrator. I have also forwarded some of the research I received to the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, which is reviewing and will rule on Monroe’s license application.

I believe it is obvious that the creation of a three-building compound to serve up to 24 persons at one location is not what was intended by the state legislation regarding group homes. Even before this specific matter arose, I called for state legislation that would allow the County to impose a dispersion requirement, so that otherwise by right group homes could not be concentrated in a single neighborhood. I also feel strongly that it is wrong and contrary to the intent of the federal Fair Housing Act to allow such concentration. That Act seeks to eliminate discrimination against people with disabilities and to ensure they can live in residential, not institutional, settings. In my opinion, it is not fair to those protected by the FHA, or to the nearby homeowners, to allow providers like Monroe to create institutional compounds in residential neighborhoods.

I believe the County’s Zoning Administrator will soon be able to issue a determination regarding issues such as whether the proposed use is permitted as a by right use under the Zoning Ordinance or should be deemed a Congregate Living Facility. I recognize that the County is taking longer to publish this determination than some residents would prefer. However, I appreciate that the Zoning Administrator is doing her due diligence and performing exhaustive research. If the Zoning Administrator rules against Monroe, appeals to the Board of Zoning Appeals, and ultimately to the Circuit Court, are possible (and, in my opinion, likely). Taking the time at this stage to ensure that her opinion is exhaustively researched, documented and correct will be critical if there are appeals.

As soon as the Zoning Administrator issues her opinion, I will share it with you.

John W. Foust
Dranesville District Supervisor
McLean Governmental Center
1437 Balls Hill Road
McLean, Va. 22101
PH: 703-356-0551
FAX: 703-821-4275


"Our fight with Newport is still going on. Volunteers made signs for the May 7 Supervisors meeting at home. However, we need lots of visible materials for the McLean Day on May 18th, the next Supervisors meeting on May 21, and subsequent events. Please donate and share this with your friends and neighbors. These do not need to be large donations. Every bit counts. $20-50 a family will go a long way. Thanks!"


We had almost a 1/4 of the auditorium filled up, front and center. Thank you all who were able to come out on a workday morning in a show of support.

Foust and the other Supervisors couldn’t have missed us if they tried. There is another Supervisor’s Meeting on May 21st where folks can (and have) register to speak. We walked out together as a group after about an hour of holding our signs quietly - -


Drug/Psychiatric Rehab Invading Residential Neighborhoods, Next to Schools

Davidson Compound 

"Paving over lawns and perforating French drains with fencing that previously mitigated surface water runoff is a clear problem."

"The floods headwaters."

This was the scene just moments ago at the base of the three houses that have paved over the green spaces for Newport Academy employee parking. (You think there is a water run-off problem?) Notice the stopped school bus. After this I went to the other side to direct traffic so the school bus driver could back-up and take another route around the flooding. This is the worst flooding I've seen on the creek in 15 years.

Kurtz Facility 1318 Kurtz Rd, Mclean, VA 22101

"A picture of the Kurtz facility to give an idea of the expanded driveway. It's a panoramic, so you can scroll."


Rehab Business Invading Residential Neighborhoods in McLean, Next to MHS and Franklin Sherman ES









The Newport Compound Transaction Data

1318 Kurtz Rd, Mclean, VA 22101 Original Price: $2,395,000 Close Date: 08/04/18 Close Price: $2,395,000 1620 Davidson Rd, Mclean, VA 22101 Original Price: $2,800,000 Close Date: 11/09/18 Close Price: $2,800,000 1622 Davidson Rd, Mclean, VA 22101 Original Price: $3,300,000 Close Date: 01/07/19 Close Price: $3,300,000

1624 Davidson Rd, Mclean, VA 22101

Original Price: $2,950,000
Last List Price: $2,840,000
Close Date: 08/03/18
Close Price: $2,790,000

Rick Mountjoy (3050584) (Lic# Unknown) (571) 218-0257
Selling Agent Email: rick@mountjoyproperties.com
Selling Office: Keller Williams Realty (KWR21)
Ron Cathell (44611) (Lic# Unknown)
6820 Elm St, McLean, VA 22101-6008

19 mins · 

Abusing zoning laws while hiding behind Fair Housing Act, Monroe Operations dba Newport Academy must be held accountable, brought to justice and put back to a commercial zone where it properly belongs!!!

I compiled some online reviews by parents and patients about Newport Academy. Feel free to use for your letters, emails and talk points: 
Mclean resident and parent: “how mislead I had been about this facility…. Sickened to imagine that this group would try to do in this beautiful neighborhood…Security guards at the Connecticut facility quite after a number of months… On their "assessment" application , it lists: legal professionals (including probation officers, lawyers, GAL, courts, detention centers, etc.), so I assume they are willing to take students who have found themselves in the court system…. After things started going wrong…but never actually did anything…
Natalie (parent): “after two weeks there I had to remove her and place her in treatment facility in Malibu California due to neglect and incompetent staff, Newport made promises of helping her and instead she was worse when I picked her up she was having a panic attack just telling me about her experience there.”
Amanda (patient): “ You definitely don’t get as much schooling as they advertise. They are all about money, that’s it. The food is absolute shit, they give us boiled chicken and rice every day, and we barely got therapy. The therapists there didn’t help, and when they did meet with you, they didn’t go over any coping skills, goals, or even try to learn about you… if you go, you’ll see it complete bullshit and nothing gets done… There is also a lot of bullying that goes on there…”
Jennifer: “looking elsewhere for your loved ones treatment. This place is very invested in making money and there is not a lot of focus on actual treatment. All the effort goes into making the property look nice but that is NOT what treatment is about. I would have never left my child here knowing what I know now.
Jason (parent): “deeply regret sending my daughter to this program. This program is all smoke and mirrors. They were not only not helping her, they were causing her harm. They treating my depressed child like she was a juvenile delinquent. Once I got her out of Newport, she ultimately thrived… The people at Newport are good at telling you what you want to hear to get you through the door. The quality of treatment is very, very poor.”



Rehab Business Opening in Residential Neighborhoods


Cc: <dranesville@fairfaxcounty.gov>, <chairman@fairfaxcounty.gov>, <DelRSullivan@house.virginia.gov>, <DelKMurphy@house.virginia.gov>

Dear Community Members,  

Under a veil of secrecy, the Monroe Corporation, a recently created LLC in Virginia, purchased four single family homes in McLean, Virginia each of which will be turned into mental health/substance abuse treatment centers operating as Newport Academy and will house up to eight clients and many more staff. Three of these homes are adjacent to each other on Davidson Road and are directly across the street from McLean High School and bordering Lewinsville Park; the fourth is a short mile away, within a block of Franklin Sherman Elementary School. This information only became available to citizens a few weeks ago, as the buyer’s realtors were required to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Newport is in the process of converting these homes into treatment centers with eight clients per home, with multiple shifts of three or more treatment providers maintaining continuous, 24-hour coverage at each of these facilities, and additional support staff (https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/newport-academy-jobs-mclean-va/). Staff-to-patient ratios at Newport are advertised as 5:1. The vast majority of these clients under treatment are not likely to be residents of McLean with treatment periods of just 4 to 12 weeks. For these treatment services, we understand insurance coverage now available under Federal law will pay the vast portion of Newport rates, which are reportedly as high as $1000 per day per child. They established this corporate presence “by right” under the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which provides housing protections for people with disabilities, including addiction, in group homes, meaning true, long-term residential care. There are legitimate group homes already in McLean operated by non-profits like Oxford House and we welcome them as good and valued neighbors. We believe Newport should instead be categorized as a congregate facility due the number of homes in close proximity as well as the short-term stays of their clients.

At a public forum with over 600 citizens at McLean High School Wednesday, April 24, the community raised a number of issues, including legal interpretations, permit application irregularities, zoning interpretations, and violations, to name a few.

This issue is vitally important to more neighborhoods than just those bordering the existing purchases. If a precedent-setting license is issued by the State, the same thing can happen in your neighborhood. A Corporation could buy one or more adjoining private homes and open up a treatment center in your neighborhood. In areas where this loophole exists, such as Orange County, California, and in Florida, once one corporation found a foothold, many more followed. Laws were later tightened, but existing corporate homes could not be removed.

A license application is now being processed for this business by the Office of Licensing in Richmond. This license could be approved in as little as two weeks. If this license is approved, our community's next course of action may be through the Courts, a long and expensive journey.

Since our community has had so little time to study the issue, we are asking our county and state officials to take whatever steps they can to delay the approval of this license. Surely a delay will do no harm, and would do much to help us resolve this matter.

If your Homeowners’ Association feels the same way, please ask them to express their concerns to their local and state officials (see attachment for contact information). This is urgent as time is of the essence. We need action to be taken in the next two weeks.

For more information and background, please join our open Facebook page: Davidson & Kurtz Road Rehab Facility Discussion (https://www.facebook.com/groups/568014440377068/).


Concerned Residents


Political Contacts

Mr. John W. Foust, Supervisor

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

1437 Balls Hill Road

McLean, VA  22101

Email:  dranesville@FairfaxCounty.gov

Ms.  Sharon Bulova, Chairman

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors

12000 Government Center Parkway

Fairfax, VA  22035-0079

Email:  chairman@FairfaxCounty.gov

Mr. Richard C. Sullivan, Jr., Delegate

Virginia House of Delegates

P.O. Box 50753

Arlington, VA  22205

Email:  DelRSullivan@house.virginia.gov

Ms. Kathleen J. Murphy, Delegate

Virginia House of Delegates

P.O. Box 146

McLean, VA  22101

Email:  DelKMurphy@house.virginia.gov

Dr. S. Hughes Melton, Commissioner

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

P.O. Box 1797

Richmond, VA  23218

Fax:  1-804-371-6638

Mr. Dev Nair, Assistant Commissioner

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

P.O. Box 1797

Richmond, VA  23218

Fax:  1-804-371-6638

Ms. Jae Benz, Director

Office of Licensing

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

P.O. Box 1797

Richmond, VA  23218

Fax:  1-804-371-6638

Congressman Donald S. Beyer, Jr.

U.S. House of Representatives

1901 N. Moore Street, Suite 1108

Arlington, VA  22209

Fax:  703-658-5408

The Honorable Ralph S. Northam
Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia
P.O. Box 1475
Richmond, VA?? 23218
Fax: 1-804-371-6351


Rehab Business Invading R-3/R-2 Zoned Neighborhoods, Residents Fighting Back

Katie Zimmerman shared a link.

I have just sent the following to John Foust (cc’ing many others).

To: John Foust, Board of Supervisor
McLean Governmental Center
1437 Balls Hill Road, McLean, VA 2201

Cc: Rip Sullivan; Jae Benz; Fairfax County Attorney, Elizabeth Teare; Attorney General Mark Herring; Dale M. Stein, MCA President; METRO Desk Washington Post; WTOP; Peggy Fox; Carrie S. Schmidt, Field Office Director, HUD

From: Katie Zimmerman

Dear Sir,

I have lived in McLean for two years. After our first year I was fairly sure this was a good place to raise my three kids. After the Community Meeting on 4/24/19, however, I came home and told my husband: “I am not leaving this town except in a body bag.”

I am enormously proud of the 500+ people who came out in opposition to Newport Academy’s dead-of-night invasion of our neighborhoods and laws, and you should be, too.

Cresting high above the few, albeit loud, ripple of individuals upset about any “group home” was wave upon wave of informed, intelligent, and prepared to fight-for-right citizens who showed up – and who continue to show up – to fight the corporatization of R-3 zoned neighborhoods and the abuse of Fair Housing Protections by profiteers. You, and others on the dais cc’d here, heard argument after argument for why Monroe, LLC’s purchase and intentions for their properties here in McLean are unacceptable for their chosen location except if designated as “Congregate Living Facilities” requiring a Special Use Permit, that, you must grasp by now: should not be granted on grounds of the existential threat such business enterprise brings to residential neighborhoods.

Please, review Section 21, page 15, of the “Joint Statement of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice State and Local Land Use Laws and Practices and the Application of the Fair Housing Act,” which states,

“In addition, a group home’s request for a reasonable accommodation may be denied by a local government if providing the accommodation is not reasonable—in other words, if it would impose an undue financial and administrative burden on the local government or it would fundamentally alter the local government’s zoning scheme.[1]”

Sir, I and many like me are proud and dedicated Democrats but those of us in that room on Wednesday night will be looking to find a Dranesville Supervisor who represents the constituents and works to keep fair housing fair by standing up to those whose abuse of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 endangers this most important achievement in the history of American legislation and the protected classes they are designed to shield.


Katie Zimmerman

[1] https://www.justice.gov/opa/file/912366/download


Letter we submitted today to local newspapers.

To the Editor:

My husband and I purchased a home nearly a decade ago in McLean to raise our family. We have loved our time in the area and think it is wonderful that our children are able to grow up experiencing the wide variety of people, cultures and ideals that make up our inclusive community. I know that nearly all our neighbors here in McLean feel similarly. As a result, it was very depressing last Wednesday to watch several hundred of our good neighbors being baselessly lectured to and derided as prejudiced by our local elected officials and a few others, seemingly as part of a public relations strategy orchestrated by Newport Academy CEO, Jamison Monroe. The attack was particularly detestable given the vast majority of us in attendance strongly believe that senior citizens and the disabled members of our McLean community have every right to live together, receive care, and participate in our community while residing in group homes, as is protected by the Americans with Disabilities and Fair Housing Acts.

The overwhelming majority of the audience was there to express a deeply held concern with Newport Academy’s recently and rapidly unveiled plans to convert four newly purchased residential homes into juvenile and young adult treatment facilities. The homes, all purportedly purchased under false pretense, included three homes next to one another on Davidson Road within a block of McLean High School, and a fourth home purchased a short distance away on Kurtz Road, a couple hundred yards from Franklin Sherman Elementary.

We understand Newport is proposing to convert these homes into a treatment center, placing children age 12 to 20 in these homes, eight per home, with multiple shifts of three or more treatment providers maintaining continuous, 24-hour coverage at each of these facilities. Staff-to-patient ratios at Newport are advertised as 5:1. The vast majority of these children under treatment are not likely to be residents of McLean and we suspect will have no intention of calling McLean home, instead simply visiting for treatment periods of 4-12 weeks. For these treatment services, we understand insurance coverage now mandated under Federal law pay the vast portion of Newport rates, which are reportedly as high as $1000 per day per child.

While the long-term efficacy of these kinds of expensive short-term treatment programs may be in question and should be carefully researched by authorities to ensure that children undergoing this expensive treatment are being well-served, one primary concern many of us have with Newport in particular lies with the law under which the for-profit enterprise is seeking to open its treatment facilities in McLean. Specifically, Newport claims it is opening a group home, but we understand that the law makes clear that a group home is for “residence,” a term we understand Virginia law explicitly defines as living for 183 or more days a year (with the insurance money drying up after as soon as 30 days, few at Newport will likely stay that long) but also, in the spirit of the law, includes a desire on the part of a group home occupant to be a part of the community. Lawyers consulted have suggested that Newport’s facilities are actually not group homes but Congregate Living Facilities (CLF), a category that requires a permit application allowing for more reasonable degree of community deliberation, and not just a by-right to set-up their business in any residential neighborhood it so chooses. Given the significant traffic and other demands these treatment facilities would place on the strained infrastructure around our schools, additional community consultation would certainly appear to be warranted. In Bethlehem, Connecticut for example, where Newport has a facility, nearly 20 percent of all emergency services calls in the town are reportedly originating from the Newport facility.

We ask our elected representatives, including Supervisor Foust, Delegate Kathleen Murphy, State Senator Barbara Favola, as well as the Fairfax County Attorney and the Fairfax County Zoning Board to carefully review the Newport request and act to protect children in McLean rather than Jamison Monroe’s bank account.

Scott and Vanessa Barbee


Rehab Company Faces Widespread Community Backlash Over Planned McLean Facility

By Vernon Miles

Marc Lampkin, a nearby resident, expressing concerns about the group home project

Tensions reached a boiling point last night (Wednesday) in McLean as local residents threatened to run a therapy center out of town — legally or illegally, in the words of one neighbor.

A series of new group homes by Newport Academy, a corporation that runs therapy programs treating teenagers with mental health or addiction problems, are planned for a residential neighborhood.

Three of the homes — 1620, 1622 and 1624 Davidson Road — are clustered on a private cul-de-sac one block away from McLean High School, while another one is going in at 1318 Kurtz Road.

Representatives from the project, several elected officials and Fairfax County staff started a community meeting in the McLean High School auditorium with presentations about the project, but the more than four-hour-long public hearing after the presentations showed that the project has struck a deep nerve with the local community.

On one side were the Newport Academy staff and a handful of supporters in the audience who said the program is necessary to help deal with the local mental health crisis. Teenagers or adults who said they had struggled with mental health issues described the difficulty of finding treatment facilities in the area. These stories were frequently interrupted by a chorus of booing from the audience — at least once in the middle of a young woman recounting her trauma following a sexual assault.

But opponents of the project — mainly nearby residents or parents with children at McLean High School — comprised the vast majority of the standing-room-only audience in the auditorium.

While they were united in opposition to the project, their reasons varied. Del. Rip Sullivan (D-48th District) conducted an impromptu poll of the audience, and half said they are opposed to any group home while the other half would be fine with just one, but opposed the cluster.

“It’s three houses side by side; it’s a compound,” Robert Mechlin, a nearby resident, told Tysons Reporter. “If I want to build a shed, I have to get a permit. Why isn’t this the same litmus test?”

Mechlin also echoed concerns about how residents of the facility would affect safety in the nearby neighborhood. In the small town of Bethlehem, Conn., students at the Newport Academy were responsible for at least two criminal incidents — the theft of a car and a student who stole bottles of vodka from a local bar. Throughout the evening, nearby residents said the prospect of the treatment facility next door makes them feel unsafe.

Newport Academy Founder and CEO Jamison Monroe said security tightened after the incidents in Connecticut. A presentation on the project noted that alarms would be attached to every door and window and the students would be closely supervised by staff. Later in the meeting, Monroe offered to pay for a security guard to monitor the site, but by then the public concerns around the project ballooned beyond just security.

The secrecy and allegations of deception surrounding the purchasing of the property were also recurring themes among the opponents. Neighbors said that after the properties were purchased, the real estate agents who orchestrated the deals told neighbors they were subject to non-disclosure agreements.

“I was told multiple times that [the development] was for a wealthy individual,” Steve Wydler, a leasing agent with Wydler Brothers Real Estate in McLean, said. “It was only after construction started that we were told the project was under an NDA.”

Monroe admitted that he didn’t know why the non-disclosure agreements were put into place.

“I’ve learned some things about our real estate agents this evening that I was not aware of previously,” Monroe said.

Marc Lampkin, who became one of the unofficial orchestraters of the opposition from a seat in the front row, said the facility would extract money from the students and leave the neighborhood with problems.

“We all appreciate the notion of treatment, but the single biggest concern is that you failed the good neighbor policy out of the box,” Lampkin said. “You hired a real estate agent who bought the property with lies and misrepresentation. You are a for-profit entity and you’re driving a truck through a loophole [in Fair Housing law].”

As frustrations escalated throughout the evening, Monroe became the main target of the community’s rage, with local residents calling him smug, arrogant and a “son of a bitch” several times.

Caught between the two, the elected officials expressed unhappiness with the project, but said it was being redeveloped by-right and left their hands tied.

Two of the rallying cries from the opposition were “Remember Sunrise” — a reference to a plan by Sunrise Senior Living Facility that the Board of Supervisors denied following widespread public outrage — and a promise to oust elected officials if they didn’t vocally oppose the project.

“I do not support three houses on the same site,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said. “But it is the law. In my opinion, one company buying those properties changes the character of the neighborhood. I oppose that. But we do not see a way to stop it.”

The county argued that the project is a group home, which is considered a “by right” development — meaning there’s no requirement of public notice and no zoning approvals needed from the county. Several of the politicians said they first heard of the project when the outrage started.

“I am not at all surprised to see this turnout,” Sullivan said. “Three weeks ago, our emails lit up with questions and comments.”

Complicating the issue, the Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals because of a handicap or disabilities, which the Code of Virginia says includes residential facilities housing individuals with mental illnesses.

But several opponents noted that there are ways around that protection. Some locals questioned whether the project qualified as a group home. Wydler said that the project might not qualify as a residence — a crucial part of the project’s status as a by-right development — given that the average length of stay for students of the program is substantially less than the 183 days that the tax code considers residency.

Fairfax County Attorney Beth Teare said the county was still looking into the zoning regulations and rules surrounding the project. The group’s license application is still pending before the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

If the licenses are granted, Monroe said the facilities could begin operation within a few months. If it does, at least one attendee threatened to file a lawsuit.

Regardless of the outcome, Sullivan said he and other elected officials would look into closing what the public saw as fair housing loopholes.

“One of the things I want to look at moving forward is making sure there is more advanced notice of this sort of thing,” Sullivan said.


The Planned Drug and Rehabilitation Center Owes County Property Taxes?


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


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



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.



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. 


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.



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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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.


Award-Winning After-School Math Program for K-12 Students

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!

Offering serious and challenging mathematics to intellectually gifted students

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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Simon Lin