CORAL SPRINGS, FL – A substance abuse treatment center has received permission from a special magistrate to house up to 12 unrelated people in two homes in the Coral Hills neighborhood of Coral Springs – a move many residents and city officials have opposed.
According to a city memo, Special Magistrate Mitch Kraft has approved allowing Legacy Healing Center of Margate to house their clients at 4225 NW 100 Avenue and 9500 NW 40 Street.
The approval gives the center “accommodations” from the city’s law which prevents more than three unrelated people from living in a residential home.
As a result, city attorneys are asking the City Commission to approve appealing the magistrate’s decision to the Circuit Court.
Coral Springs “believes the approval of these accommodations fundamentally alters the nature of the city’s zoning in the Coral Hills neighborhood,” the memo said.
City attorneys said in the memo that the magistrate’s decision “is in error and that his order was not supported by evidence before him.”
Many residents living near the houses have said they are worried that the center’s residents have the potential to commit crime and devalue their properties.
Legacy Healing Center’s directors have disputed the residents’ concerns, saying their clients are closely watched by staff and aren’t involved in crime.
They also said their houses, as well as the center, are closely regulated and inspected by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The center had already received special “accommodation” approvals from Coral Springs in 2018 and 2019 for two other houses in the same neighborhood, one in the 9000 block of NW 39 Court and the other in the 4000 block of NW 101 Drive.
Jim Devine, Legacy Healing Center’s director of strategic planning and quality assurance, said the center’s clients have already been living in the houses for months as they were allowed to under city laws permitting three unrelated people to live in the same home.
“We believe in due process,” he said. “It’s disappointing that state and federal laws are being challenged, but we will continue to be good neighbors and help the community.”
City commissioners are expected to discuss the appeal at their Wednesday meeting.
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