January 8, 2019
Addiction recovery center public hearing Thursday
The PATH Foundation has a contract to buy “Twin Oaks,” valued at $1.9 million for tax purposes, if the board of supervisors grants the special exception permit.
File Photo/Lawrence Emerson
Chris Herren, who has spoken to students in Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock about addiction, testifies at the Dec. 20 planning commission public hearing.
• Topic: Special exception permit to establish a 24-bed residential addiction recovery center on 50 acres at 6791 James Madison Highway (Route 17) just north of Warrenton.
• When: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10.
• Agency: Fauquier County Board of Supervisors.
• Where: Warren Green Building, 10 Hotel St., Warrenton
• Applicant: Warrenton-based PATH Foundation.
• Property owners: Mark S. and Angela S. Smith.
• Zoning: Rural, with a small amount of village fronting James Madison Highway.
• Details: The PATH Foundation and Massachusetts-based Herren Wellness Group want to establish a residential “spiritual wellness” center on the property to treat up to 24 recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. The “private-pay” retreat model uses meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free and full and productive life.” It would employ 12 full- and eight part-time or contract workers.
• Previously: The five-member county planning commission on Dec. 20 unanimously recommended approval of the application.
Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday will conduct a public hearing on a proposed residential addiction recovery center just north of Warrenton.
The PATH Foundation seeks special exception permit approval to establish the 24-bed, “private-pay” Herren Wellness Retreat at Twin Oaks on 50 acres off James Madison Highway (Route 17).
The Jan. 10 hearing will take place in the Warren Green Building in Warrenton. The board meets at 6:30 p.m.
> Agenda and documents at bottom of story
After a 36-minute hearing Dec. 20, the county planning commission unanimously recommended approval of the application. The five-member commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, which has final authority.
Twelve speakers, including three PATH representatives and Herren Wellness Group founder Chris Herren, backed the proposal.
Two neighbors, who had no objections to a recovery center, questioned whether the proposed use would be appropriate in the predominantly rural area.
They also expressed concerns about groundwater use, drainfield treatment capacity and traffic related to the center.
Employing 12-full and eight part-time or contract workers, the center would operate in the main house — a 2-1/2-story, 11,700-square-foot stucco structure — and a 760-square-foot stucco home on the property. The proposed site also includes an in-ground pool, a tennis court, a barn and various outbuildings.
PATH has a contract to buy the proposed wellness retreat site from Angela S. and Mark S. Smith, who live there and rent eight of Twin Oaks Historic Manor House’s bedrooms on Airbnb.
For tax purposes, Fauquier County values the property at $1.9 million. The Smiths bought it in May 2017 from Airlie Foundation for $1.1 million.
The center “would provide local access to residential recovery, which speaks to two of our four focus areas — access to care and mental health,” PATH Foundation CEO Christy Connolly told the planning commission. “In the last five years, since our inception, we have invested nearly $2.5 million in (local) programs and services to address mental health alone.”
PATH’s association with Mr. Herren began in 2017 when the organization brought the former NBA guard to Fauquier, Culpeper and Rappahannock to speak to students about his drug addiction and recovery.
Ms. Connolly, other PATH staff members and Mental Health Association of Fauquier County Executive Director Sallie Morgan last summer visited the Herren Wellness Center in Seekonk, Mass.
“We were very impressed with the program there and started talking about possibilities within our community,” Ms. Connolly explained to the commission.
Like the Herren center in Massachusetts, the proposed Fauquier retreat would use meditation, yoga, mindfulness, reiki, exercise and group and individual coaching to provide residents with skills “necessary to return to a drug- and alcohol-free full and productive life,” according to the special exception application.
Insurance doesn’t cover services provided by Herren Wellness.
Residents of its Massachusetts center stay at least four weeks and may remain there as long as six months, according to the group’s website. A four-week stay costs $12,500 to $15,000.
Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.
Fauquier BOS Agenda Jan. 10... by on Scribd
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Rusty Wheel · January 8, 2019 at 6:43 pm
'locust' get a vote they outnumber you in a democracy they win end of story good outcome
hospitals treat people with communicable disease should we close them too n send patients far far away? dont want them near our kids do we?
new congresscritter is a whiskey merchant (good whiskey too) last congressman says hes a drunk (and the papers mentioned weed) so lets not pretend we dont need local rehab ... btw should we jail him really or maybe we should help him get on his feet
its private enterprise on private land with private money ... why is it your business what people do on their own land legally
benefits to county residents = free to use their land as they choose, health jobs, good local health care on private dime .. whats the public benefit to driving them away
fauquier's a great place to live - do you really think they are a bunch of liberals from Fairfax and PrinceWilliam in charge, spending other peoples moneys .. if so which ones and how did they seize control of republican fauquier - if so why do you stay?
M Lamont · January 8, 2019 at 4:39 pm
Fauquier has been overrun by beltway transplants. A bunch of liberals who have destroyed Fairfax and PrinceWilliam and have now moved to Fauquier to continue disasterous policies with other peoples moneys. They are similar to locusts. Drug addicts and drug dealers should be in jail, which secures the personal safety of families and property. Isnt this the second proposed "center" in Fauquier in a month? You can bet there is a $$ scheme going on here. What are the benefits to Fauquier County residents?
This kinder gentler way of dealing with criminals has resulted in increased crime, increase taxes, and worst of all, more children being preyed upon and killed by people who consider your children fair game to do with as they please. I am all for philanthropy. However, this type belongs in the desert, far far away from innocent children and families.
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