Girls' treatment center clears hurdle in Kent
The Kent Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a special permit to convert a former inn at 62-64 Kent Cornwall Road to an 11-bed residential drug and alcohol treatment facility and school for adolescent girls.
The facility will be run by the Midwestern Connecticut Council on Alcoholism.
The commission had deliberated on the application for months. The final vote, on Sept. 2, was 5-2, with one commission member abstaining.
"I think sometimes it got lost that this was a commercial (zoned) property," said commission chairman John Johnson.
"This is not an incarceration site, not a jail facility," he added. "It is a treatment facility, with adolescent girls there for short-duration stays for a specific purpose. I think the impact on the community will be minimal."
Concerned residents had banded together in an attempt to block the facility from opening. A petition against it was signed by 45 residents in just one day.
Earlier in the evening of the vote, Lauri Zarin, owner of Cobble Lane Farm, which abuts 62-64 Kent Cornwall Road, placed a sign against a chair in the front of the commission's meeting room urging members to vote against approval.
Ms. Zarin declined comment after the meeting.
The resolution of approval passed by the commission had 22 conditions that must be met before the special permit is issued. Among them is a requirement for a written agreement between MCCA and the Kent Volunteer Fire Department about ambulance service for the facility.