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August 8, 2017

Town officials discuss addiction recovery center

File Photo/Don Del Rosso
“We’ve not ever had any problems where we are in Richmond,” McShin’s Chris Connell says. “I don’t foresee any here in Warrenton either.”
I don’t want to be a not-in-my-backyard person. But, I’m concerned about safety. Addicts . . . you just don’t know what it’s going to bring.
— Electrolysis Centre owner Charlotte Gabor
The McShin Foundation Center of Warrenton
• What: Planned substance addiction counseling and 14-bed substance abuse recovery center, serving seven males and seven females.

• Where: 30 John Marshall St., Warrenton.

• Owner: Mill Pond Investments LLC (Matt Iten).

• Zoning: Central Business District.

• Office hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays; counseling sessions no later than 9 p.m. weekdays.

• Center manager: Chris Connell.

• Details: Town zoning ordinance allows counseling services by right; planned 28-day, overnight recovery program probably will require special use permit approval by town council.

• Next: McShin Foundation within two weeks hopes to begin providing counseling services and submit special use permit application to town for overnight recovery program; special use permit review process involves town staff analysis, town planning commission work session and public hearing; town council will conduct work session and public hearing before acting on application.

• Website: mcshin.org

• Facebook: Click here

• Annual report: Click here
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The owner of the Warrenton hair-removal business understands that recovering drug addicts need treatment.

“I certainly support that,” Charlotte Gabor, founder of the Electrolysis Centre at 20-A John Marshall St., said in an interview.

The McShin Foundation of Richmond wants to open a 14-bed substance abuse recovery center at 30 John Marshall St. — a vacant, freestanding structure next to the office condominium building that houses Mrs. Gabor’s business.

But, she and her husband Ted have doubts about the proposed site.

“I don’t want to be a not-in-my-backyard person,” Mrs. Gabor said in interview. “But, I’m concerned about safety. Addicts . . . you just don’t know what it’s going to bring.

“I’m there late” at the business, she said. “I don’t know how they’re going to control access to that facility.”

Chris Connell, who will manage McShin’s Warrenton center, Monday night gave the town’s Public Safety and Transportation Committee an overview of the foundation’s plans for the Marshall Street building.

The Gabors attended the 5 p.m. meeting in Town Hall.

“I think we really appreciate what she’s trying to accomplish,” Mr. Gabor told the committee, which includes council members Bob Kravetz (Ward 4), Kevin Carter (Ward 5) and Linda “Sunny” Reynolds (At-large). “The question we have is, ‘Is it in the right location? Is it compatible with the surrounding business community and private community? Wouldn’t it be more to their advantage if it were outside the area?’

“There’s so much area around here that a development would welcome them in a situation that would not be so centrally located.”

Trying to allay the couple’s concerns, Mrs. Connell said: “We’ve not ever had any problems where we are in Richmond. I don’t foresee any here in Warrenton either.”

Established in 2004, McShin operates an apartment building and group homes with 170 beds for recovering addicts in and around Richmond.

The Warrenton center would be staffed around the clock, with two house managers supervising the residents and living on the premises.

Residents must return to the center by 9 p.m. for a mandatory one-hour nightly meeting.

They also must participate in a variety of recovery-related classes, Mrs. Connell said.

Within the next two weeks, McShin plans to begin providing free counseling services at the three-story, 4,410-square-foot John Marshall Street building, she said.

The property’s Central Business District zoning allows that use of the building “by-right.”

McShin’s plan to operate a 28-day residential recovery program in the three-story, brick structure for seven male and seven female addicts probably will require special use permit approval from the town council.

The foundation hopes to submit a permit application to the town in about two weeks, said Mrs. Connell, who along with her family plans to move from Caroline County to Fauquier.

The permit review process would entail work sessions and public hearings before the town planning commission and council, which eventually would take final action on an application.

“We’re not going to get into the pros and cons of this program,” committee Chairman Kravetz told the Gabors Monday night. “You’ll have plenty of opportunity to say what you want to say” during the special use permit review process.”

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citizen observer · August 10, 2017 at 7:25 pm
I agree that an addiction treatment center is needed. However, in a county of 700+ square miles; I would think those seeking treatment would prefer something in a quiet, scenic, rural setting over an old building next to a noisy middle school in the middle of a town.

"Residents must return to the center by 9 p.m. for a mandatory one-hour nightly meeting." Where are they at for the rest of the day? Wandering around town?
TooTrue · August 10, 2017 at 9:50 am
Kathleen is right.
KathyWithAK · August 9, 2017 at 11:40 am
Sorry, forgot to sign my real name Kathleen Iliff-Darnell
KathyWithAK · August 9, 2017 at 11:39 am
To those "good neighbors" that are in fear for safety reasons, wake up and educate yourself!!! Addiction is a medical/psychological diagnosis NOT a moral issue. Those in need are YOUR neighbor's children. Addicts are not anymore dangerous than you and your hair removal, for the love of God wake up!!! We are burying an entire generation over this epidemic. Amen
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