CORAL SPRINGS, FL – In the spacious Coral Springs neighborhood known as The Hills, a substance abuse treatment center has purchased a fourth house for its clients who are in recovery.
Legacy Healing Center’s latest house in the 4200 block of NW 100 Avenue has upset some residents who fear their community is becoming a haven for drug recovery.
The company’s director of strategic planning and quality assurance, Jim Devine, said Legacy Healing has always planned to manage four properties in the neighborhood.
“This should be no surprise,” Devine said. “Four was always our goal.”
But some neighbors worry a fourth property owned by Legacy Healing will further diminish their home values and change the feel of the community. They said they aren’t opposed to people in recovering, but they don’t believe their neighborhood is the right place for them to live.
“Our neighborhood landscape is changing from a peaceful quiet 100% residential neighborhood to a mixed neighborhood with treatment facility businesses clustered and overwhelming the natural quiet feel of our tree-lined community,” said Gerry Dunne, who lives next to one of the Legacy Healing houses.
Not all residents, though, are opposed to the houses being used to help people recover from addiction.
“I’m personally mortified of such ignorance,” said a resident in an email to Legacy Healing who asked that her name not be used. “My son went to rehab…then a sober living house, so I am very aware of the process.”
Legacy Healing provided her email.
The concerns of some residents over Legacy Healing houses in the Hills community came to light last month when they approached Coral Springs City Commission and urged city officials not to allow the company to open more houses for people in recovery.
Devine said at the meeting and afterwards that Legacy Healing is a good neighbor.
Legacy Healing’s clients are not involved in crime and are closely watched by staff, he said. In addition, the operations of the houses, as well as the center in Margate, are regulated and inspected by Florida Department of Children and Families.
“We are doing everything right,” Devine said.
The fourth house was sold on Aug. 21 for $925,000 to HEF VENTURES LLC, a company affiliated with Legacy Healing.
The other houses are in the 9000 block of NW 39 Court, 4000 block of NW 101 Drive, and 9000 block of NW 40 Street.
Legacy Healing received special “accommodation” approvals from Coral Springs in 2018 and 2019 for the two houses in the 9000 block of NW 39 Court and 4000 block of NW 101 Drive.
The city’s zoning law don’t allow for treatment services in residential neighborhoods and so a special magistrate granted Legacy Healing an exception based on federal fair housing and disability laws.
Legacy Healing will follow the same process in seeking exceptions to allow the houses 9000 block of NW 40 Street and 4200 block of NW 100 Avenue to be used for housing people in recovery, Devine said.
The houses that haven’t applied for the exemptions yet will be used to house professionals and first responders such as police officers and firefighters, Devine said.
The two groups won’t be living together and Legacy Healing hasn’t determined yet which group will live in which house.
Devine expects Legacy Healing to start the process of applying for exemptions in the coming months.
For residents such as Dunne, allowing the exemptions will open their community, as well as other parts of Coral Springs, to more treatment centers buying houses, he said.
“More businesses will seek the ease of entry into our peaceful quiet neighborhoods and forever permanently change our once wonderful desirable and safe neighborhood,” he said.
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