Residents surprised, upset after teen drug rehab center buys three McLean homes


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April 24th, 7:00PM: Community Meeting at McLean High School

MHS PTSA eNews, April 12


Community Meeting Regarding Planned Drug and Rehabilitation Center

Supervisor John Foust, Delegate Rip Sullivan and Delegate Kathleen Murphy will host a meeting regarding group homes in McLean. Staff from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, County officials, and representatives from Monroe LLC will attend. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the operations of the homes, licensing and permitting authority, relevant legislation and regulations, and resident concerns. 

Meeting Details

Wednesday, April 24, 7 p.m.
McLean High School Auditorium
1633 Davidson Road
McLean, VA 22101

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments.




Comments: 

(4/12/2019 @June)

1. This is a medical facility treating patients; not a group home housing residents.
2. Monroe is exploiting the valid and important protected category status of group homes as codified in federal, state and county regulations.
3. Newport Academy sites are advertised as campuses; therefore each building is not functionally a group home. Rather, they are collectively campus of  medical facilities serving the short-term needs of patients.

I believe this is the only argument that will have legal merit.  Everyone worrying about traffic, safety, proximity to schools etc are correct, but if these properties are categorized as group homes, they’ll be protected by the ADA code.  Only changing their designations to the more correct “medical facilities” will change the laws by which they’re regulated under.

Above from Facebook group page.




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.





4/11/2019

Residents surprised, upset after teen drug rehab center buys three McLean homes

The company's CEO said a large number of residents will come from Virginia, where there are limited treatment options for children.

Author: Peggy Fox

MCLEAN, Va. — The McLean community was surprised by the purchase of three luxury homes now being converted into a high-priced teen drug rehab center. Concerned about safety and traffic, neighbors are now trying to stop the center from receiving a state license to operate.

"It all was done under the radar and all of a sudden the bomb dropped and we've all been scrambling ever since," Sue King who lives behind the three luxury homes, said.

They are secluded on a pipe-stem driveway off of Davidson Road, one block away from McLean High School.

Peggy Fox

The homes were recently purchased by Monroe Operations, which operates Newport Academies. Located across the country, Newport academies are expensive residential treatment centers for teenagers dealing with drug addiction or mental illnesses. 

Peggy Fox

"Certainly all of us in this community believe that it's important that there's treatment facilities for young people in particular who have problems. None of us are against that," Marc Lampkin, who lives up the street from the homes, said 




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The neighborhood got concerned when they saw a parking lot going in. The homes were not for sale on the open market, but were sold behind-the-scene, without notice to the community. 

"They did it without any disclosure, without any understanding," Lampkin said.

Peggy Fox

Monroe's CEO said each home will have eight residents and six staff. For the neighborhood, traffic is a concern on the two lane road, and so is safety.

"Our property values. The safety because these kids escape and they get into trouble," said King.

That apparently happened last year at the Newport Academy in Bethlehem, Connecticut. The community had several complaints about the treatment center's handling of its teens.

"You'll find them laying in the middle of the road, stealing cars. Escaping all over town," Cynthia Radauskas, a Bethlehem resident, said.


WFSB

Jaminson Monroe, Monroe Operation's CEO, said those incidents are extremely rare.

"We are always looking to improve our processes protect our kids and respect the communities which we serve. Newport Academy has grown and developed over the past 10 years. We have learned and adopted new protocols in response to challenges we have faced," Monroe said in a statement.


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In McLean, concern is not just surrounding those three homes, but also a fourth one on Kurtz Road, also purchased by Monroe Operations.

So how does a drug rehab facility, whether it's one home or three, pop up in a community without getting permission from the county and the zoning changed?

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities or handicaps. Courts have ruled that former substance abusers qualify as having a handicap.

John Foust, Fairfax County Supervisor, said Monroe Operations didn't tell the county about their plans. He said the company took advantage of a loophole by purchasing three homes. 

"Instead of putting these people into a residential community he's taking a residential community and converting it into an institutional use by lining up three houses next to each other," Foust said.

Monroe said there's no loophole.

"Our permitting process was the same as any other permitting process. We followed the zoning ordinances exactly. Each home will be licensed separately," Monroe said. "We have and will continue to follow all necessary regulatory guidelines put forth by the State of Virginia."

Lampkin disagrees.

"It really just drives a giant truck through the loophole of what a group home is," Lampkin said. "I think people can certainly tolerate or embrace your one home, your eight residents that blends in with the community. This is clearly, in our minds, a commercial activity."

The neighbors opposed to the treatment facility are planning to hire a zoning attorney to help fight the facility. Others in the community said a treatment center for teens is desperately needed. 

Jamison Monroe responded to several of WUSA's questions in writing. Below are the questions in bold, and Monroe's responses.

Why did you purchase three homes together? Why do you need so much space?

We acquire parcels that will best accommodate our best-in-class facilities and serve those in need. The three houses will allow for a maximum of eight residents each. This is significantly less than the demand for services in Virginia.



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The law's intent, I’m told, is to protect individual homes, you are being accused of using a "loophole" to erect a drug rehab "compound," which will "convert" a residential community to an "institutional" use. Did you seek three homes to take advantage of a loophole?

To what loophole are you referring? Our permitting process was the same as any other permitting process. We followed the zoning ordinances exactly. Each home will be licensed separately.

With problems of escaping teens documented in Bethlehem, what have you done to correct problems there and elsewhere?

The reports from Bethlehem that have been spread to the community here are either extremely rare, or false. That said, we are always looking to improve our processes to protect our kids and respect the communities which we serve. Newport Academy has grown and developed over the past 10 years. We have learned and adopted new protocols in response to challenges we have faced. In addition to investing heavily in a well-trained staff, we make sure the environment of care has safeguards in place in order to support our residents on site.






How will you alleviate the strain on the small Davidson road, particularly during opening and closing of McLean High School?

What strain will we be placing on Davidson Road? We will certainly do what we can to mitigate any traffic issues. If this mean adjusting our typical schedule, then we are happy to do so.

Why didn’t you tell the community/county what your intent was before you purchased? People say they are angry that they knew nothing about it.

We have and will continue to follow all necessary regulatory guidelines put forth by the State of Virginia.

How many residents will you house in each home?

Up to eight residents in each home.

How many staff per home?

Approximately six staff will be at each home, depending on the time of day. 

Where will your residents come from? 

A significant number of our residents will come from the local area and the Commonwealth of Virginia where sadly there is a dearth of treatment options for families who have children that struggle with mental health issues.



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Will they attend McLean High School, which already overcrowded?

Residents of Newport Academy’s program in McLean will not attend McLean High School. Their academic needs will be seen to by Newport Academy. 

How much does treatment cost?

Costs to families are typically their copay and/or deductible and that all depends in their insurance provider and plan.

How long does it last?

Length of stay is a clinical decision and made on an individual case basis.

I’m told you will attend a community meeting on April 24. Is that true?

We are currently working with local legislators on setting a date for a community meeting. We are using April 24 as a placeholder until we confirm. We look forward to working together in symbiotic relationship. 







    
   
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4/11/2019

Drug rehab center angers McLean residents



Residents near McLean High School are very concerned about their safety and their property values. This, after a company bought up several homes for a business some say doesn't belong in their area: drug rehab.




MHS PTSA eNews, April 10

News about 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. Once the County gathers more information about the specific plans for these facilities, the PTSA would like to host a community meeting with Supervisor Foust.

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.


4/11/2019

Letter from VA State Dept of Behavioral Health, They are not Responsible for Local Zoning Issues





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4/9/2019

Vernon Miles


A teen-focused rehab center is planned to open across from McLean High School and some nearby residents are not pleased.

The Newport Academy, a therapy program for teens with mental health or addiction problems, recently purchased three residential homes (1620, 1622, and 1624 Davidson Road) in McLean with the intent of using them as a treatment facility.

An employee at the Newport Academy confirmed that a new center is planned for McLean, but that the facility is still going through state and medical licensing.

The employee said the new facility is several months away, at least, from opening. But the company does have at least 18 jobs listed as available for the site, from an executive director to tutors and chefs.

discussion group was started on Facebook on April 4, with some neighbors expressing concerns on everything from increased street traffic to drops in home values. A few others pushed back against the concerns and said they hoped neighbors would avoid “Not In My Back Yard” syndrome.

In an email to local residents, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust wrote that group homes in residential neighborhoods are typically considered “by right” uses, meaning there’s no requirement of public notice and no zoning approvals needed from the county.

Foust also noted that the Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals because of a handicap or disability and that the Code of Virginia requires local zoning ordinances to consider a “residential facility in which no more than eight individuals with mental illness, intellectual disability, or developmental disabilities reside, with one or more resident or nonresident staff persons, as a residential occupancy by a single family.”

While the group’s license application is still pending before the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Foust said approval would hinge on qualifications and quality of care, not local land use concerns.

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Drug and psychiatric rehab quietly moving next to Mclean HS - Holy Sh*t













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