Dear Editor,

I’m at resident of Salona Village, the location of the medical treatment facility on Kurtz Rd., one of the four pending facilities planned to operate as a “group home” by Newport Academy in McLean.

I would like to underscore that the opposition to these facilities do not oppose mental health or drug rehabilitation facilities for teens. However, we do vehemently oppose grouping of such facilities into compounds, locations in close proximity to Elementary and High Schools and abuse of the intent of a “group home”. Newport Academy is a for-profit corporation that will have patients rotating through facilities every 42-70 days. This is an Airbnb-style treatment facility and patients are not residents seeking transitional housing, which is the true intent of a “group home” and the Fair Housing Act.

Our elected officials need to categorize these facilities by their true nature, congregate living facilities requiring special exception permits, and prohibit facilities operating within 1,000 meters of schools. This is not a new phenomenon as many towns across the country have been caught flat-footed when these big businesses move into residential neighborhoods. Our elected officials need to be proactive and move quickly to protect our residential communities.

Jason Hein


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