The Banks County Board of Commissioners held the first public hearing on Sept. 8 for plans to locate a recovery center for women with drug and alcohol addiction issues in the county. The second public hearing and vote will not be held for six months due to a state law that requires this time period between the two public hearings.
Susan Sorrows is asking for a conditional use application to allow the center to operate at 111 Jack Drive, Lula. The Banks County Planning Commissioner earlier approved the request.
The second public hearing and vote by the BOC will be held on April 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Annex Building.
At the first public hearing held by the BOC last week, on Sept. 8, Sorrows spoke on her proposed recovery center. “Community Recovery Center is trying to open the first recovery center in Banks County,” Sorrows said. “Our mission is to help women to get the help they desperately need in this community. Most families are affected by addiction in some way shape our form. Our goal is to affect them with recovery. Most importantly, to show recovery is possible and restore them with their families and build our community of Banks County stronger.”
Her son and daughter-in-law, Bradley and Emily Sullens, also spoke at the meeting and said the center would be faith-based and would provide the six women who live there with life skills, GED and a 12-step daily recovery program. The women would also be required to work and would be transported by staff and volunteers to their approved jobs. They would also be given random drug screenings. The center would have staff on the site at all times.
Several people spoke at the meeting in opposition to the recovery center locating on Jack Drive, including Rhonda Parson who presented signatures of 100 people opposed to the proposals.
“While we appreciate and commend the spirit of Ms. Sorrow’s aim to provide assistance to women struggling with alcohol and drug addiction, we object to these activities being conducted at the property, and therefore, requested the commissioners deny Ms. Sorrow’s application,” Parson said.
Parson also said the proposed use would be a “boarding house, dormitories, lodging home” under the county ordinance and would not be permitted under ARR zoning.
Dale Herbert, whose property adjoins the site, also spoke in opposition and said that he said he doesn’t want people with drug addiction living 200 feet from where he is raising his grandchildren.
Carol Watkins, a long-time resident of the community, also spoke in opposition to the plans for the center to locate on Jack Drive.