Xenia calls for stricter rules for homeless shelter and drug treatment facility locations

Current regulations group different types of services into two categories (personal care facilities and clinics), but the facilities that fall into these categories can be very different. For example, an outpatient opioid addiction treatment center is different from a dental office, but the two are now treated the same for zoning purposes.

Xenia has historically embraced concentration of social services, but the opioid epidemic, rising homelessness and nationwide mental health problems are accelerating the tendency for these services to become overly concentrated within the city. said Mayor Brent Merriman.

“We recognize that we have these needs and we are meeting them, but we cannot be a service hub for the entire region,” he said.

Like county-run social services, some organizations target only Greene County residents, while others don’t, Merriman said.

“I think it was a frustration that a lot of people had, the feeling that Xenia would be a magnet,” he said.

The tendency to serve customers from across the Dayton area “could overwhelm Xenia’s ability to handle the public safety challenges” presented by these facilities, the ordinance said.

“As a county seat, we should expect to see higher demand than other communities,” Merriman said. “But when you combine that with low-cost leasing space and doing business in the community, you see these surges.”

Green County board chair Jeremy Wofford of Family Promise said despite the organization’s concerns, zoning changes are “behind the scenes” in the way Xenia is building itself.

“They care about people’s safety and kudos to them,” Wofford said. “But given that, for example, putting a family shelter that does not actively treat recovery in an environment where there is recovery, safety measures need to be put in place.”

Family Promise, a shelter for homeless children and families, would not be affected immediately under the grandfather clause of the law, but if the organization attempts to expand or existing locations become empty and numbers It will affect if you are revived after a year. .

“The biggest concern is, what is the big picture?” Wofford said. “What does the future look like for these types of services and where does the city want to go with these services?”

The Xenia City Council passed a temporary moratorium on the establishment of drug addiction treatment and related facilities in 2022, extended to 2023, with an expiration date of June 24.

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