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Martin County sheriff to weigh in on development for rehabilitation facility Monday night

It adds a prominent name to a debate between two competitors in the space
Posted at 5:59 AM, Apr 22, 2024

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — A company's push to create a new 140-bed residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility with medical detox in Stuart is getting a notable detractor.

The Martin County Sheriff's Office announced its intention to testify against Perseverance Recovery Center LLC request to turn a vacant 84-bed assisted living facility into a new facility called Clarity Pointe.

"The sheriff [William Synder] believes that drawing this clientele from around the country to our community will further diminish our quality of life in Martin County," it said in a Facebook post. "The Sheriff's Office has extensive experience with these facilities and the complex public safety challenges they present, including drawing out-of-state clients who often end up homeless in our community."

The sheriff's opposition will increase the publicity surrounding the project, which goes before Stuart's City Commission for a first reading on Monday. A final decision could occur later in May.

Perseverance Recovery Center LLC's project previously went in front of Stuart's Local Planning Agency in March. It failed 2-2.

Jason Ackner, CEO for the company trying to create the new development, said his company consolidated during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now "ramping" back up. He said their goal is to keep people who aren't dangerous to the community.

"They're sober. They're clean," Ackner said about his patients. "We know it because we're drug testing them. We're doing breathalyzers. They're engaged in therapy. They're there because they want to be there."

Less than a mile away from the proposed site is Coastal Detox. State records show the center's CEO is Christina Tucker. She testified the turnover from the number of patients will affect emergency services and lower home prices.

Ross Tucker, who said on LinkedIn his family owns Coastal Detox, said the new competitor would also make it difficult to hire staff.

"It's extremely difficult to hire medical staff in particular," he said. "So by bringing in this facility, it would severely hurt from a staff standpoint, obviously, being half a mile down the street."

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the commission chambers on 121 SW Flagler Ave. in Stuart.