Business wants to turn assisted living space into a detox facility

Published 2:45 pm Monday, June 21, 2021

Owner says it will be “a luxury, high end facility”

The owner of United Recovery Project Detox wants to purchase and convert Parkview Manor Assisted Living facility on Argyll Woods Drive into a short-term residential drug and alcohol detoxification center for men and women. However, the plans are contingent on the business getting approval from Boyle County Planning and Zoning for a general development plan amendment, and several neighbors are organizing to argue against the approval.

In 2014 the owner of Parkview Manor, Paul Fister, requested to rezone the lot at the end of Argyll Woods Drive and the entrance to Lannock to commercial with a development plan for an assisted living facility which was approved, said P&Z Director Steven Hunter. Every zone change requires a development plan, he explained.

In order for URP Detox to take over the property for a medical detox facility in the commercial zone, it must submit a development plan amendment, which will go before the P&Z board for approval or denial, which is scheduled for July 28.

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All adjoining property owners will be notified of the development plan amendment request, which includes the city of Danville (Millennium Park) and Norfolk Southern Railway Company.

Bryan Alzate, CEO and owner of URP Detox, said he has facilities in Hollywood and Riviera Beach, Florida. A third facility will be opening soon in California.

He said if the development plan amendment is approved, his privately owned and operated detox facility here will be similar to the existing assisted living facility because they both “are like a small hospital mixed with a luxury hotel.” And the detox center “won’t feel like a hospital,” Alzate said.

Alzate said URP Detox in Danville would be “a luxury, high end facility.” He said in the five years he’s operated recovery centers he has never received complaints from the neighbors about the clients. “We won’t be a nuisance. We want to improve the community,” Alzate said.

Most of the URP Detox clients are “white collar” employees who want to get clean from their drug and alcohol abuse before enrolling in a treatment plan. “They have corporate jobs and have good health insurance,” he said.

If the development plan amendment is approved, Alzate said the facility will house about 30 clients at a time for up to 28 days.

He said property owners shouldn’t be concerned about having a detox center in their neighborhood. Their clients are carefully screened during pre-assessment interviews. Alzate said they won’t accept anyone into the detox program who has a violent background or an extreme criminal record. They also don’t allow anyone who has been arrested on pedophile charges, according to Alzate.

When searching for a new location to open a facility, Alzate said he looks for places in small towns that are near larger cities. “You want to be secluded and away from the day-to-day stuff,” that can enable the clients.

He said his vice-president of marketing is from Lexington and said his “dream” was to return to Kentucky because “it was a nice area.” So when their realtor found Parkview Manor was for sale, Alzate said he was interested in opening in Danville.

According to URP’s website, “While many individuals believe that at-home detox is the solution to their substance dependency, medical detox is safer, more comfortable, and far more effective than attempting to detox at home.”

URP Detox’s amendment application filed in late May states, the detox service “consists of an inpatient detoxification program involving acute or sub-acute care … to assist individuals who meet the placement criteria for this component to withdraw from the physiological and psychological effects of substance use.”

The application states, the measures that will be put in place at the drug rehabilitation facility at 1004 Argyll Woods Drive will help “ensure the safety of the surrounding residential community by showing that the drug rehabilitation clients will not be able to casually leave the facility and roam around the neighborhood.”

• The client must meet criteria to be deemed safe and a proper fit for out program. … If a patient does not meet criteria, a referral to another facility or local hospital would be provided.

• All clients will be searched upon arrival of the program and are not allowed to have access to their cell phone or wallet.

• Clients will not be allowed to have their vehicle on the property; no outside visitors will be allowed; and no weapons of any sort will be allowed.

• A privacy wall will be constructed around the property to prevent clients from leaving. And there will be a locked entrance gate to the property.

• All client activities will only be conducted inside the facility.

• Indoor and outdoor cameras will be installed to monitor the clients and staff.

• Clinicians, a medical team, and technicians will be present 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There will be 14 employees working on first shift; nine on second shift; and five on third shift.

• Staff will complete 15-minute round checks to ensure all clients have been accounted for.

• No illuminated signs will be posted.

• No loud stereo or speaker systems will be on the property.

About 40 neighbors met last week to discuss their concerns about having a detox facility in their neighborhood. Jo Marie Lammy, who lives nearby and is on the Parks and Recreation Committee, said everyone in attendance was worried about the safety of their neighborhood. Some of the concerns included an increase in traffic due to higher rate of employment at the facility, especially when there’s already a speeding problem on the streets; and overall safety of the residents, including the children and elderly who live in the area.

“We want these people rehabilitated,” Lammy said. “But we still have a lot of questions.”

The city will also have an input in P&Z’s decision to approve or deny the detox facility development plan amendment because the back edge of the dog park at Millennium Park adjoins the Parkview Manor property. Lammy said the Parks & Rec committee is researching the issue and will eventually make a recommendation to the city.