Visit PBCE.org to bring yourself up to speed on the terminology and process involved with these
applications to expand addiction treatment center group homes from a current capacity of 5
residents to 14 residents per home, plus staff.
Building permits for both properties applying for CLF 2 approval (Banyan and Hedge) are in
process. Notices of Commencement of construction have been filed for Banyan and Preserve
House (a third property owned by the applicant that is already approved as a CLF 2). These
permits, in addition to communication by the applicant’s attorney, signal that the applicant is
preparing to move forward with resubmitting plans to be approved as high capacity CLF’s.
There is a Land Development Regulation Advisory Board recommendation to clarify the county
code so that the 5 mile fire station distance would be by road rather than radial distance; this will
likely go into effect in January, 2020. The applicant has requested reasonable
accommodation from PBC zoning for the 6.7 mile fire station to Banyan distance to be
approved under rights afforded through the Americans with Disabilities Act. Our Urban
Planner has indicated that there is cause for us to challenge the applicant’s request and
is working on that now. Due to the fact that our retainer is designed to cover the back
end of our planner’s work at the hearing, it is imperative that we receive more donations
to our CLF fund in order to support arguing against the reasonable accommodation
requests that are currently in play.
By our request, the zoning department asked the applicant to temporarily remove yellow notice
signs posted on the properties. The signs were removed last week. It is imperative that we
all help to spread the word that this is a temporary removal of the signs requested by the
Landowners Association in response to concerns of neighbors who live near the
Many neighbors are rightfully concerned about the once or twice weekly septic pumping
occurring at Banyan and Hedge. Previously, we were advised that the Health Department was
referring the non-compliance with upgrading Banyan’s septic system to its legal department for
enforcement. Since then, the septic upgrade requirement has been eliminated by the Health
Department due to the fact that the applicant brought the number of residents down from 10
(over capacity) to 5 (at capacity). According to the Health Department’s legal department, until
an inspector observes a breach in the septic system, such as a spill or smell detected by the
inspector, there is nothing that the department can do to enforce the upgrade of the system. I
personally followed up on a report made to the health department by a neighbor who
could smell the septic at Banyan. I was able to smell it and concurred with his report as
well as alerting the health department that there were 6 vehicles parked there at the time.
Unfortunately, the health inspector indicated that they did not detect the smell
themselves and that by the time they were there that there were only two vehicles.
New legislation went into effect on July 1 that requires licensed facilities like Banyan and
Hedge to be certified by FARR in order to maintain their DCF licenses. A FARR
representative indicated that Family First has applied for FARR certification and that the
applications are in process. In terms of FARR’s Good Neighbor expectations, when
asked about the septic and frequent pumping, FARR indicated that the issue would need
to be discussed in a special meeting to make a determination about what to do since the
issue is not spelled out clearly in the guidelines. As to the timeline for FARR certification
to take place, DCF has not given its licensees a deadline, but FARR presumes that it will
be one year from the date that the new legislation went into effect: July 1 , 2020.
Although the applicant has not specified an anticipated timeline for new site plans to be
submitted to the county, the applications for CLF 2 approval are not going away. The
suggested donation is $100, many have donated significantly more, others have donated less.
As a reminder, part of our agreement with our attorney specifically forbids us from
posting about the issue on social media. The official updates from the Landowners
Association are provided through the newsletter, email, and here at the meetings.