Recovery businesses remain a concern of South Point residents

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 12, 2023

SOUTH POINT — For the second time in recent months, the opening of addiction recovery businesses was a focus of concern at the meeting of South Point’s village council.

During the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting, the council heard from a resident who expressed concern about a recovery business that opened in the former U.S. Bank building in the past year.

She said this has led to worries from residents in the area about an increase in traffic and the effect on property values and asked the council and Mayor Jeff Gaskin if there was action the village could take.

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“No,” Gaskin said. “There is very little that can be done, as long as it is in the commercial area, they can operate a business.”

The location is zoned for commercial use and council member Brad Adkins, who has been working on the issue, clarified that the business is a counseling center and does not provide treatment services.

Adkins, who had vowed to address the issue legislatively, said that he and council member David Classing recently visited with the city council and mayor in Portsmouth, where similar concerns have arisen, to see what options are available.

He said one option could be to put a moratorium on new medical businesses, but this would also impact the opening of doctor and dental offices.

Classing said that they also discussed the idea of implementing standards for such businesses, “to keep bad players out,” while Adkins said they could also require the usage of business licenses to keep residents apprised as to what businesses are opening.

All present were clear that they are not opposed to the idea of recovery centers, but questioned their location and control neighborhoods have over their opening.

The issue has become a common one in the county, with similar concerns being raised in Ironton and Chesapeake in recent years.