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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Residential Treatment Facility Proposed For Huntsville

A residential treatment facility is proposed for East Huntsville near the Monastery.  As one would expect, many of the neighbors are concerned about having this type of facility in their back yard.

The Academy directors have already gone before the Ogden Valley Planning Commission for conditional use approval.  The commissioners tabled the issue during their most recent meeting but will be making a decision on the issue soon.

Click here to review the Commission report.  Pertinent data begins on page 49.
A meeting is being held Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 7:30  PM  at the Huntsville Library.

Click here to read a flyer with additional information from the Academy Directors.

Another meeting is being held for Concerned Citizens on June 9, 2010 @ 7:00 PM at the Huntsville Library to discuss the issue.  Click here for more details regarding the concerned citizen's meeting.


Machster said...

Oakley School website shows well diversified backgrounds and educations from colleges/universities scattered from across America. That seems a plus.

The organizational structure seems out of touch for a school with the advertised mission statement however:

Coaches and Staff - 48
Counselors and Therapists - 11
Teachers and Instructors - 10
Directors - 9

Hmmm? Why would an organization have 9 Directors, 48 "Coaches/Staff", and only 10 teachers/instructors??? If they only cater too non violent adolescents and kids not a risk to the community.

Sounds fishy and very top heavy to me. Could be they modeled their organization after the Jordan School District....(-:)

If I were in the proposed building site area, I would want to see all data relevant to present and past students and police records..., which of course are unavailable due to the protected status of juvenile court records, and police reports. And I would also want to know if juvenile court referals are accepted at such troubled kids schools.

This leaves only "Trust us" as to such crucial decision making data.

I have lost all confidence in such situations but those who are directly affected may think differently. It is up to them.

Forest Gump said...

No sexual deviants and no drug users. Trust us.

Springer said...

The article presented on residential treatment facility misses a good many points. Here a few:
1. The proposed facility is similar to the Oakley School....Really? Both facilities noted in the blog are part of a nationwide system of treatment facilities. The proposed site has no such affiliation. To assert that it is 'like' these is more than slight representation when there is no discernable financial or management connection.
2. 'this type of facility in your backyard..' Pretty cavalier. It is notable that the site borders on as many as 10 neighbor’s properties. Shall we expect property values on these premises to soar when potential buyers see a residential facility for 36 wayward young men between 13 and 17? Shall we expect the reduced market value to be expressed in their tax notice? A good many of these folks are in their later years when they should expect the value of their property to be available to them.
3. A nice presentation was made to the OVP Commission. More interestingly Weber County is also deeply involved with the plans extending to potential zoning changes. Tax payers in the valley, continuing to pay their ?fair? share of county expense seem to be the last to know.
4. Who is the Green Valley group? The circular omits the names of owners, or other moneyed interests. What is the financial viability of this school? Funding from State Human Services has reduced by $40 million in the last three budget cycles. The onus for the $5000 plus monthly tuition falls on the parent’s insurance or personal finance. Is there the depth in this proposed business to weather the storm? A similar site near San Antonio (The Boys Village) struggles annually to make budget.
5. Accreditation is a key selling point. IF the school is accredited, with what educational groups. Will it be enough to populate that 36 person dorm?
Open your eyes Ogden Valley! Attend to due diligence. What seems like a small problem in someone else’s back yard could soon be one in yours.

Ron Gleason said...

As I read it the request is to change the FV-3 zoning ordinance to allow for this type of facility. How much FV-3 zone is there in the valley? ( I can see the parcels on the county interactive map but do not have numbers) How many more facilities will approach the valley if this ordinance is changed? So many questions so little time.

To SPringer's comment about the valley being the last to know about these issues. I agree and we need to get a system implemented so that citizens to be made aware of these requests at the start of the process not at the end.

Valley said...

Based on the lack of information at this point, we included the information about the Oakley School as the Academy directors are comparing themselves to the Oakley school and perhaps even trying to model themselves after the Oakley school. Some of the directors may have even worked there.

As far as point #2 "'this type of facility in your backyard..' Pretty cavalier."

Not sure of your point as we don't know of anyone who would want this type of facility in their backyard.

If you would like to write a guest article on the subject (or any other subject for that matter), then you are more than welcome to and we will gladly publish it.

Our goal is to simply point out the issues in a way that readers can formulate an opinion.

Machster did a great job of initially discussing how nice the Oakley facility looks, but then clarified the huge disparity in the number of staff members compared to the number of students.

Teri said...

Normally, you would follow the money. But, in this case, this appears to be difficult. Nothing in their flier identifies anybody. Their application lists Green Valley Academy, but I can't even find if there is a license. Their flier indicates what children they do not accept. The catch wording is "primary diagnosis". Beware of the secondary diagnosis. I might be mistaken, but I believe they must have two adults with each child at all times.

Valley said...

Did anyone make it to the meeting tonight who wishes to report?

Notso Closeminded said...

I attended the meeting, but was disappointed. I had hoped that it would be informational, but the emotions in the room ran high and the questions were fired quickly and randomly, so nothing much was accomplished. Here's what I did get out of it... one of the co-founders, Dr Jared Balmer, has co-founded two other schools of this type in Utah; the Oakley School, in Oakley, and the Island View Residential Treatment Center in Syracuse. I urge readers to check their websites. Both schools have since been sold to the Aspen Education Group, which has maintained the original size and scope of each school in the 6 to 8 years since taking over management of them.

Dr Balmer explained what types of teens would NOT be admitted to the Green Valley program - they will not accept anyone with a criminal record of any sort, nor will they accept kids with conduct disorders, sexual perps, or those with drug/alcohol dependency.

The audience seemed to be made up of two primary groups - those concerned with the kids being housed/treated at this new school (safety), and those who were concerned about infrastructure (traffic, lights, etc) I think it is safe to say that both groups were equally concerned about what having a school like this in their neighborhood would do to property values.

There were two residents of Oakley in the audience, one of whom owns a large parcel next to the school and another who works for the school and also lives on an adjacent piece of land. Both of them were supportive of the school and claimed that there have been no problems with the kids and that property values have not diminished. The Oakley school houses over 100 teens and the Green Valley school will house a maximum of 36. I am interested in checking out the Oakley School for myself, as it sounds as though the founders intend to model Green Valley after Oakley, rather than after Island View.

The kids who attend these schools are the future of our country - and getting them help in their teen years will give them an opportunity to become healthy and be able to contribute to society. I applaud Dr Balmer and his associates for offering a solution to what must be a difficult choice for the parents of teens who need this kind of help.

That said, I will not be signing the petition... at least not yet...

rider said...

Notso... I too applaud those who are trying to help kids with difficult issues. All kids are the future of our country.

To everyone else interested: It all sounds good, especially when you look at the web site(s) or better yet, visit a facility. But have you ever worked in one? Have you ever lived by one? Most parents I know could not afford to send their loved teen to a treatment facility for a mere $9,500 per month, plus the cost of traveling/visiting once per month. Most, if not all, will be coming from out of Utah. I personally would be much more in support if this really was a reasonable avenue for parents to get needed help, not just the wealthy. I would also be more supportive if I thought it could serve our own community kids needing treatment. I do NOT buy for one second how this will boost Ogden Valley's economy. Are they really going to drive some 13 miles to the grocery store or will they have Cisco deliver food once a week. And chances are, with so few places available to stay in the peak of ski season, parents will be staying out of the Valley and thus NOT boosting the ecomony. Just something to consider. I ask you OV residents to research this ONE point: Both treatment centers that were started/owned/operated by at least TWO of the partners were sold. The community is being assured that these kids will be like the "Forrest Gumps of the world" (which is insulting in and of itself) and will not be deliquent (no court history), conduct disordered or sexual perpetrators. Research what can be a "secondary diagnosis". Then consider what types of kids will fill its beds once it is sold off when it's up and running and PROFITABLE. Hum?

Sure, they can buy this property (and others in the Valley) for a song! And they will profit. We will not. There are many places in Utah that would be a good match, they just can't get it this cheap! Enough said.