Tempers flared Monday evening for Lakeview residents learning more about the development of a proposed rehab facility to be constructed in the North Side Chicago neighborhood.
About 200 Lakeview locals gathered to express their concern and frustration to Rosecrance health executives hoping to build a residential drug and alcohol rehab facility at the corner of Ashland and Waveland avenues.
Many residents said they believe their safe, quiet neighborhood would be forever changed if the company follows through with the plans for construction.
“We're worried about an incident of relapse,” said Mark Beir, who lives just one street over from the development site with his wife and two young children.
“[I’m worried] there is going to be somebody on drugs walking around the neighborhood,” Beier said.
Some residents are claiming the development was a classic a bait-and-switch situation.
They say the site's developer asked to rezone the property back in 2013 to build luxury condos. But now, that same developer has entered into an agreement with Rosecrance, which wants to change the zoning again to operate the rehab facility.
“My biggest concern is really safety,” one resident, Chantal McFarlane, told NBC Chicago. “Rosecrance does great work, but I don't think they did research on this location. Because if they had they would know this would not be a good place for them to set up their facility.”
The neighborhood is banding together to try to keep the facility from opening by posting fliers on doors and throughout parks.
Rosecrance’s director of recovery services, Chris Yadron, says he just hopes they all can get along.
“We certainly want to be good neighbors,” Yadron said. “We appreciate that people have fears, questions and concerns, and my response is to continue the dialogue.”
Rosecrance executives said they hoped to open the facility in February but acknowledge that it will now likely be delayed.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) says he will weigh both sides of the argument.
“My position, like any good alderman, is to listen to constituents, look at the merits and reaction of community and do our best job to govern,” Ald. Tunney said.
Monday’s meeting came on the same day Rosecrance filed the application for a special use permit for the property.
The application will now head to the zoning board for approval.