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Recovery group home proposed in Gainesville
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Planning and Appeals Board meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Gainesville Justice Center, 701 Queen City Parkway

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board will consider a request Tuesday for a special use that would allow a group home on Cleveland Street for 36 men recovering from addiction.

The planning staff recommends approval of the Synergy Recovery Center, with some conditions. Primary among those conditions are that the home not exceed 36 men and that a property manager be on site daily to enforce rules and maintain the property.

The planning board meets at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Gainesville Justice Center.

The property now contains a 10-unit, one-story apartment building, which was built in 1987.

One unit would be made into an office space for the manager. The other nine would include two bedrooms, a kitchen and bathroom for four adult men.

The background information about the proposal said the program will be “a minimum 12-month residential, structured housing/sober living program for men who struggle with substance abuse.”

It said more than half of the residents of the program will be referred by the justice system and the others would be self-admissions.

Residents of the program would have daily chores, cook their own meals and have general cleaning duties. Participants would have “concrete curfews” and would be given random drug screenings two to three times a week.

The planning staff said, “the proposed group home is suitable” based on the surrounding land uses.

It noted there is a mixture of uses — single-family homes, duplexes, multi-family apartments, light industrial and nonprofit community-oriented uses.

The staff material also said the proposal “should have little to no adverse impacts to the adjacent and nearby properties.”

The group home is owned by Stuart Smith, Gina Diresta and Todd Price.

Smith said Diresta and he both have experience with recovery from addiction efforts in their families.

He said the two of them own Intown Property Management of Buford. They have owned that company since 2005, he said. The firm manages property in Buckhead and around Atlanta, he said.

The recovery center will try to get into the area court system and be approved as transitional housing, Smith said.

He explained the program will not provide transportation, medication or counseling to the residents. They will be required to attend a meeting per day, he said.

Smith also said that Krista Crowe, who works in drug court with Montlick & Associates will be the on-site manager for the center.

They have been working on the proposal “for well over a year,” he said.

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