State gives red light to drug-rehab plans in Sheepshead Bay

Brooklyn Currents | 7/19/2013 | 1 comments
Brooklyn Currents Editor

Plans by providers of a drug and alcohol treatment facility to locate a program on East 21st Street near Voorhies Avenue in Sheepshead Bay have been thwarted, at least for now.

Strong opposition by area residents and local politicians prompted the state Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services to signal First Steps to Recovery officials to stop all work at the
planned site, an apartment building at 2632 Est 21st Street.

Operators of the program want to relocate to 21st Street because their existing facility in Brighton Beach is running out of room.

Neighbors are upset that the proposed site not only is in an apartment building, but is also very near St. Mark School.

FSR providers had encountered similar opposition several years ago when they located the program in Brighton Beach, near P.S. 225. That process slipped by without state or city approval, and residents and local officials fear the same will happen again now.

People from the program or from OASAS couldn't be reached for comment by this posting.

Alcohol by BrooklynCurrents

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz told the OASAS that 2632 East 21st Street was “a horrendous” location for an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment treatment facility, since the proposed site is in  a residential building with families and children and is very close to an elementary school.

OASAS sent to First Steps to Recovery, Inc., a letter requesting that the providers “cease and desist” with any further construction work until the OASAS reviews the location.

“This is a hopeful sign and the first indication in this whole poorly handled process that the community is actually being heard,” said Cymbrowitz , who is chairman of the Assembly's Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee.

“You can see children’s toys out on the terraces of the building. The siting is horrendous and doesn’t make any sense. No one is disagreeing with the need for this type of program, but it belongs in a commercial area, not a residential one.”

The OASAS letter stops short of a direct order, but observers say it's extremely unlikely the providers would continue work on a project that likely could be halted altogether by the state or city.


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