Last Friday morning, approx. 40 Oak Island area residents attended a protest of a proposed construction 24-bed facility to help individuals transitioning from treatment to training at 84 Arcadia St. that would offer those who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment to a facility offering life-changing training through a programed re-entry back into society. Protesters gathered in front of European Collision Works, the owners of the proposed facility, on North Shore Road, to voice their opposition to the project. Since its introduction a few weeks ago, the proposal has been met with resistance from the neighbors and city council. Protesters have made claims that the proposed facility would be the equivalent to a homeless shelter or sober house consisting of unstable and possible criminal element that would be a negative impact to the neighborhood citing various public safety issues.
Attorney for the developers, Gerry D’Ambrosio has stated that the individuals have been misinformed about the proposed facility’s function and clientele, stating that residents would be vetted for criminal records, would not offer treatment for drugs and alcohol, and all clients will have already completed sobriety treatments.
The local attorney also cited that the project falls under the Dover Amendment, which exempts educational, religious, and agricultural businesses from certain zoning restrictions, which cannot be voted on by the city council.