Halfway house is touchy subject
Post Independent Staff
CARBONDALE ” Residents of a Carbondale neighborhood are up in arms over a rumor of housing an alcohol recovery center there.
Dewey Fanti, who lives at 1208 Catherine Court, said the house next door recently sold. On Thursday, July 28, he noticed a large group of men entering the house.
“There were nine guys in a car and seven guys in another, and there were no children or wives,” he said.
The next day while working in the yard, he saw one of the neighbors and introduced himself. When he asked the man, who said his name was Vincent, if the group was renting the house, Vincent said, “I can’t tell you anything about it,” Fanti said.
However, Vincent invited Fanti into the house where he saw the group sitting in a circle filling out paperwork.
“I said, ‘Hi, I’m your neighbor,'” Fanti said. Asked to come back after the meeting, Fanti returned about an hour and a half later and introduced himself to the owner.
“He wouldn’t tell me his last name,” Fanti said.
The owner, who gave his name as Chris, acknowledged intending to operate an alcohol recovery program, said he’d opened five in-home recovery centers in other states, Fanti said.
“I said, ‘Guess what, you’re not going to do it here,'” Fanti replied.
“No one is against rehabilitation, but not in this neighborhood,” Fanti said. He and his neighbors worry there will be possible trouble with occupants.
“I’m not against people who want to make themselves better. But we have children here … my garage doors are always open.”
Word got around the neighborhood quickly. Homeowners are passing petitions to close down the program, and signs announcing the situation have sprouted up on lawns throughout the neighborhood.
Town attorney Mark Hamilton said the neighbors brought their concerns to the town.
“I’m aware of the situation. We’re looking into it. We’re going to engage in dialogue with the owner.”
Hamilton added that he has not yet established whether the subdivision allows the use of the home. As a planned unit development, “It has its own unique zoning. I’ll have to review it before I have an opinion. I don’t know enough about it to say whether its legal or not.”
As of Saturday, July 30, there were only two people living in the house, neither of whom is the owner, Fanti said.
A group of homeowners plans to attend next Monday’s town board meeting. If the town cannot or does not take action, Fanti said he’s prepared to do so.
“I will take it to court if I don’t get satisfaction from the town.”
Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. 510
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