LAKEVIEW — Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said Thursday that he would back the controversial proposal for an addiction recovery residence to open in Lakeview — but he has some conditions.
One of those conditions would prohibit Rosecrance, Tunney and neighbors "from making derogatory public statements regarding one another, which may include but not be limited to linking crime or safety issues in the Lakeview area to Rosecrance and its participants."
The announcement comes one day before the Zoning Board of Appeals will hear Rosecrance's case for a special-use permit — required of any transitional living facility in the city — for a counseling center and recovery residence at 3701 N. Ashland Ave.
"I believe Rosecrance to be a proven leader in addiction and recovery services, but this is their first residential building to be located in the City of Chicago," Tunney said in a statement.
In the "hundreds" of letters both in support and opposition to the project, neighbors voiced concerns about safety, smoking, density and parking, he said.
In response to the concerns, Tunney said he would only support the special-use permit if Rosecrance met the following conditions:
• The special-use permit will expire in two years, providing a trial period after which Rosecrance must reapply and restart the appeal process in October 2017.
• Compliance with the Good Neighbor Agreement will be a condition of the permit. Tunney said Monday that if the agreement was violated and Rosecrance failed to rectify the situation, the permit could be revoked.
• The special-use permit will be nontransferable should Rosecrance vacate.
• The number of residents will be capped at 18 for the first year of operation, raising the cap to 24 after the first year and allowing the maximum 30 residents at the end of the second year.
"I believe that this is a fair compromise and will allow all of us to move forward in a productive way," Tunney said.
The number of residents could be a sticking point for Rosecrance officials, who previously said having 30 people in the six three-bedroom apartments was required to make the project financially viable.
The one-year Good Neighbor Agreement, posted on Tunney's website on Tuesday, lays out a complaint procedure, offering a 24-hour phone line and email for neighbors to communicate with Chris Yadron, Rosecrance director of Chicago recovery services.
If a complaint is linked to Rosecrance participants, the organization must implement a plan of correction within three days and review the progress for the next three months.
A committee selected by Tunney will meet monthly to review the written log of complaints and discuss concerns for the first two years of Rosecrance Lakeview's operation.
Tunney can renew the one-year agreement for a second year "at his sole discretion."
The agreement also enforces 24/7 staffing on site and an 11 p.m. curfew for residents with some exceptions. Only family, professionals and sponsors will be allowed to visit the residential floors, and residents cannot have motor vehicles.
Residents found with alcohol or drugs will be discharged from the program. Smoking will be prohibited outside the building, but will be allowed on the rooftop deck and on each apartment balcony. Rosecrance will be responsible for daily clean-up of litter like cigarette butts, and security cameras will be installed around the perimeter and alley.
The nonprofit organization will also reach out to nearby schools to offer substance abuse prevention presentations and assessments.
Tunney also shared Rosecrance's plan of operations.
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