Pubdate: Thu, 25 Jan 2001
Source: Redding Record Searchlight (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Redding Record Searchlight - E.W. Scripps
Contact:  PO Box 492397, Redding, CA 96049-2397
Author: Scott Mobley, Record Searchlight
Bookmark: (Substance Abuse and Crime 
Prevention Act)


Planners' Decision May Bring More Recovery Projects In City

The second time proved a charm for a south Redding drug and alcohol 
treatment program seeking city permission to continue filling its beds.

As planning commissioners Tuesday OK'd the End Times Ministries program, 
they also opened the way for other mid-sized residential drug treatment 
centers to take root in Redding neighborhoods.

End Times had been running a drug recovery center for men on Kenyon Drive 
some 17 months without a permit. In December, the commission had denied the 
faith-based organization permission to operate 25 beds, ruling that such a 
large program would crowd a neighborhood of single-family homes.

The commission approved a use permit for End Times on Tuesday after it 
proposed scaling down the Kenyon Road program to 14 clients.

Commissioners Tuesday also voted to allow organizations proposing 
residential treatment programs as large as 14 beds to seek permits for 
opening shop in Redding neighborhoods under a new interpretation of the 
city's general plan.

The city already allows day care centers, elder care centers, churches, 
small grocery stores and public and private schools in its neighborhoods. 
Group homes of six beds or fewer don't need approval.

Warning that the commission's decision would open Redding to a flood of 
applications for neighborhood drug treatment programs, Commissioner Fred 
Weatherill cast the lone dissenting votes against the new general plan 
reading and the End Times permit.

"I'm concerned that there hasn't been serious consideration of Proposition 
36," Weatherill said, referring to the measure California voters passed in 
November mandating treatment for first-time nonviolent drug offenders. 
"These treatment facilities are quasi-penal and that use is inappropriate 
in any residential area," he said.

The City Council should decide the issue of treatment programs through a 
general plan amendment, Weatherill said, adding that letting the commission 
interpret the document turns the plan into a "toothless tiger."

"To believe we can hold the line is naive," he said. "This is the nose of 
the camel underneath the tent, and pretty soon the whole camel will be in 

Redding probably will see many more applications for drug treatment centers 
under Proposition 36, Jim Hamilton, chief planner, acknowledged at the 
meeting. But the city has a responsibility to accommodate the neighborhood 
programs as long as they conform to the city's general plan, he said.

Under the interpretation the planning commission approved Tuesday, the plan 
specifies eight to 14 residents per acre in neighborhoods like Kenyon 
Drive, a semirural spot near Highway 273.

"We can't turn our backs on community needs," said Mark Woodward, 
commission chair, adding he was reluctant to discriminate between 
neighborhood elder care and drug treatment centers.

End Times occupies a former church building and pastor's house on 
three-quarters of an acre, where the men sleep on oak-framed beds lined up 
in a large room. The organization, which repainted the buildings and 
landscaped the grounds, is buying property next door to house clients in 
its transition and work program.

Operating under the Church of the Redeemed umbrella, End Times accepts 
court and probation referrals, state prison parolees, men who fail 
workplace drug tests and walk-ins, said Director Jack Ragsdale.

About half the residents pay fees sliding from $900 to $400; the rest 
enroll free, said Ragsdale, End Times' only paid staff member. The program 
enlists seven volunteer drivers, chefs and counselors.

End Times will open state-sanctioned classes in anger management, substance 
abuse prevention, parenting and life skills under Proposition 36 when the 
law becomes effective in July, said House Manager Dick Kimbrough. Funding 
for the courses will come through tuition from clients funneled to End 
Times through a coalition of 14 prisons setting up diversion programs under 
the new law, he said.

"The city has worked with us so well," Kimbrough said. "They saw a need and 
saw that we were fulfilling it. That's a totally awesome thing."
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