Delray Beach coastal residents rallied in December in protest of planned luxury beach-side sober houses, filling commission chambers at two meetings and spurring city leaders to scour law in search of changes that will protect single-family residential neighborhoods.
The controversy is a familiar one in Boca Raton, which, following an outcry from residents, passed ordinances in 2002 restricting sober houses to areas of the city zoned for hospitals or motels. The city was sued by the owners of the sober houses and in 2007 a federal judge struck down the ordinances, saying they were discriminatory.
Delray Beach is struggling to find an answer. What should the city do?
The City must fight Caron Corporation and it's sober houses with every means at its disposal. They must not be intimidated by Caron's, Michael Weiner's and Attorney Green's snarling, law suit threats.
The City Commission must stop being weak, frightened and inept...if they want to keep their jobs.
Meanwhile, Delray residents, especially those who live on the Barrier Island, must wake up and understand that Caron and other so-called "rehab" companies represent a mortal threat to their property and quality of life.
A mortal threat? Let me ask you something - if you had a relative or wife or son or daughter who was a recovering addict and who was staying with you, how would you feel if the community perceived them as a "mortal threat" and demanded they be banned from the community?
I wouldn't be opposed to my next door neighbors having a recovering family member staying with them. It's their right.
But let me ask YOU something: is this is the same thing as seeing a rich and powerful corporation in the business of servicing addicts rotate dozens of strangers--some recovering, some perhaps not so recovering-- through the house next door at rates up to $60,000 a month?
This Business is, indeed, a mortal threat to our residential neighborhoods.