CAMPTON HILLS – John Thornhill said when he reads news accounts of the opposition surrounding a proposed residential addiction rehabilitation center, it reminds him of the type of opposition neighbors raised when the Glenwood School for Boys was initially proposed.
Thornhill, who lives in St. Charles and helped with the development consulting of the former Glenwood School, spoke Monday during a Campton Hills Plan Commission public hearing to give some historical perspective. Kiva Recovery is seeking annexation and a special-use permit to turn the former school into a private, high-end residential addiction treatment center at 41W400 Silver Glen Road.
Resident Abe Andrzejewski stood outside the door handing out a memo and a list of reasons to oppose the rehabilitation center as more than 100 people filed into Congregational United Church of Christ in Campton Hills for the public hearing. The meeting started about 30 minutes late while people signed in and officials found more chairs to accommodate the crowd.
Thornhill said he remembers people handing out fliers and raising what he called "petty issues" during meetings about constructing a school for youth with behavior problems.
"Looking back, I think everyone in this room would probably not have a problem with Glenwood," he said. "In my opinion, I'm an outsider, but I think this is a perfect match."
Many Glenwood School neighbors didn't agree, including Pat Hartman. She read a few portions of the Campton Hills comprehensive plan and asked whether Kiva Recovery matched that vision.
She suggested turning the former school into an outdoor recreational facility, a nursing home or "something that would fit the Campton Hills vision," instead of a rehabilitation center.
"That does not fit. I would like to say to you, when you make your decision, consider what's right and appropriate for the community. Believe in this," she said, holding up the village's comprehensive plan.
While answering questions from residents, Kiva Recovery leaders said people would arrive at and leave the facility voluntarily. If people leave voluntarily before treatment concludes, they usually arrange a ride to get them as far away from the facility as possible.
Jennifer Hastert, who lives near the former school, asked about the type of people who would be in the facility or come to the facility to pick up clients who choose not to be there.
"Are they going to be hard up for a hit and try to get something from our houses?" she asked. "Drug addicts are drug addicts."
Terry Shapiro, one of the executive managers, said people who steal for drug money exist in the community already, but they don't have the opportunity to get help.
Shapiro said Kiva Recovery treats only drug and alcohol addiction. He said people with other addictions, such as gambling, will have to go to another facility.
In the materials he handed out, Andrzejewski questioned the types of addictions the facility would treat, its affect on property values, and how it would alter neighbors' perceptions of safety.
He also handed out a memo from the Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District that states "service demands are likely to be higher than those of the general population. Estimated tax revenues for the Kiva campus do not reflect the expected higher service burden."
Patrick Griffin, the attorney representing Kiva Real Estate Investments, said Kiva Recovery leaders have met with fire district officials since the Aug. 20 memo was issued, and they agreed Kiva Recovery will absorb any additional costs if the department receives more calls than expected.
Chairman Rolf Frederick said at the beginning of the meeting that he wasn't sure whether the Plan Commission would vote Monday, but the public hearing wasn't concluded by press time.