Juno Beach residents angered by South Florida drug detox center proposed zoning in neighborhood

Residents worry about safety, traffic, home values

JUNO BEACH, Fla. - Homeowners near Venus Drive and U.S. 1 are worried the drug recovery center could destroy their slice of paradise.

The concern began when several neighbors received a letter in the mail informing them Recovery Residences, Inc. had just requested zoning relief to allow a detox center to legally operate in the confines of the neighborhood.

"Not in my backyard. Not where my children are running around and trying to play and other people are trying to raise families," said Lori Ramirez, a Juno Beach resident.

Ramirez, a mother of three young children, thought the facility was just a group home that helped rehabilitate addicts.

On the website for the drug rehab center, it clearly advertises itself as the, "East Coast's only detox facility nestled by the sea."
    
According to the letter sent to residents, the owners of Recovery Resources are applying for zoning that would allow the facility to legally operate as such.

"Look. I've had people in our family who have needed these facilities and I'm grateful to them. But to turn this small community into a big business area is not what we want," said Ramirez.

No one at the facility was available to speak or comment about the situation on Monday.

Residents did though present a letter that was sent by the Town of Juno Beach lawyer which informed Recovery Resources it was currently operating in violation of several town codes.

They are the same codes the facility is requesting relief from in the zoning notice.
    
Ramirez and other residents said they are planning for strong action if the facility is zoned for a detox center.

"I would think about moving as would most other people I think. Nobody wants to see a business like this come into this area when they should never be allowed to be in a residential, family area to begin with," said Ramirez.

A public hearing for the zoning of the drug detox center is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18. The meeting will run from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Town of Juno Beach could make a decision soon after the public hearing.

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