The seven-member Hot Springs Planning Commission recently approved placing a 48-bed drug rehab facility for young men in the Whittington Valley. Fortunately, this decision is being appealed to the Hot Springs Board of Directors.
The proposed facility is next to Linden Park (which is separated from the facility by an open unlocked gate) and is within walking distance of the Math & Science School, Park Avenue and Central Avenue (including the now-vacant property at the corner of Whittington and Central Avenues and which the city is in the process of redeveloping).
Whittington Valley is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Hot Springs. Tourists visit the Valley and our many parks. We have children, teenagers, mature adults and the elderly who live in the Valley and enjoy being in a beautiful and historic area of Hot Springs. I, and my many friends, do not feel it is appropriate to locate a 48-bed drug rehab facility in our residential neighborhood.
If the Hot Springs Board of Directors feel this facility should be in the Whittington neighborhood, then perhaps each and every director will allow such facilities in their neighborhood, maybe even next to their house.
What the city board allows in one neighborhood will establish the rule for all neighborhoods -- even yours. Think about it, people. Do you want a 48-bed drug rehab facility next to your house? If it happens in the Whittington Valley, you could be next!
This issue goes before the city board next Tuesday, May 4th. Talk to your city director and let them know your thoughts on placing a 48-bed drug facility in the Whittington Valley -- and know that in speaking for the Valley you are also acting to protect your own neighborhood.
Please speak up and let your voice be heard.
Use 'common sense'
I lived in the Whittington Valley for many years and still own several houses in the Valley. Placing a 48-bed drug rehab center in the middle of any residential neighborhood is wrong -- including the Whittington Valley. The planned rehab center is a large commercial undertaking, operating 24 hours a day and will disrupt the quiet residential character of the neighborhood.
Would you want a 48-bed facility, operating 24 hours a day next to your home?
Some 20 years ago there was an attempt to open just such a facility in the Valley. Area residents, including myself, banded together and asked the city directors to use their common sense. At that time, the city board held that such a large commercial enterprise was inappropriate in a residential neighborhood. I hope the city board once again uses common sense and acts to protect the Valley's residential character.
Please support the residents of the Whittington Valley and tell your city director that large commercial businesses do not belong in any residential neighborhood.