Rezoning request raises concerns for Albany neighborhood

Albany rezoning request raises concerns for neighbors

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - People in one Albany neighborhood said they don’t want a drug rehabilitation facility in their neighborhood.

Leaders received a request from Allen Aligood to rezone the Raleigh White Baptist Church in the 2800 block of Phillips Avenue for a rehabilitation center.

People in the Winterwood Subdivision said they will fight against that request at all costs.

“We don’t have a lot of traffic in the neighborhood, it’s just residential, and we like it that way,” said Daphnie Miller, who has lived in the area since 2006. “I believe everybody deserves a second chance, the opportunity for people to become productive citizens. But the main point, I think a lot of neighbors feel, is that it just shouldn’t be here.”

Daphnie Miller
Daphnie Miller (Source: WALB)

People in the area described it as a diverse and quiet residential place and that said they don’t want businesses or facilities to run down their neighborhood or property value.

“The rezoning was kind of a surprise for our neighborhood. Our concern is this particular one is designed to have a capacity of fifty men at one time,” said Jim Fitzgerald, who also lives in the neighborhood.

Jim Fitzgerald
Jim Fitzgerald (Source: WALB)

Fitzgerald said he believes each man in the halfway house would go through a six-week program for treatment.

“If you do the math, that is roughly in the neighborhood of three [hundred] to 500 troubled men in the neighborhood each year, every year for the rest of our lives,” explained Fitzgerald.

Another resident, Marlen Lopez, said family means everything to her and this rezoning issue could impact their daily lives.

Marlen Lopez
Marlen Lopez (Source: WALB)

“My brother and his friend, his friends will come from down the street and they will play in the backyard, they love to play in the backyard and run around,” said Lopez. "It could be a danger to them. We don’t know who these people that are coming, they could come escape from there and walk down the street.

The nine-acre lot would have to be rezoned in order for the facility to come to the area.

“We are asking that the city commission please deny the zoning request change,” Fitzgerald said.

WALB News 10 reached out to the church for a response but has yet to hear back.

A public hearing for the rezoning request will be held on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m.

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