The city of Rhinelander's Planning Commission has rejected a request to place an 8-bed Community Based Residential Facility at 835 West Phillip St, across from West Park. But the rejection is only advisory, and the final decision will go to the full city council.
60 people attended the meeting, with only one person speaking in favor of the facility.
The state Department of Corrections recommended another alcohol and drug abuse treatment facility in Rhinelander. The state contracted with Attic Correctional Services to provide the program.
Attic CEO Vicki Trebian says they looked extensively for a good location and the duplex met all their needs...
"....we feel this property is probably the best fit we can find in this community..."
Since this was a state request and fell under local guidelines for zoning, the request by Attic was for an exception to 2500 foot boundaries from other CBRF's.
Former fire chief and inspector Don Knutson lives near the facility and says the property's location was too close to other facilities and should be rejected...
"....what they can look at is the number of CBRF's and the impact on this neighborhood. The bottom line is there already is 2 CBRF's within the 2500 foot allowance....."
Many citizens expressed security concerns, especially with a park nearby often filled with youngsters...
"....I do realize they are very devious if they want their alcohol. They will go through great lengths to get it. There is a bar very close to there. That worries me. Downtown is not very far. I walk downtown all the time..."
After brief discussion, the Planning Commission denied the exception application for the CBRF. But the matter will be referred to the full city council to make the final decision April 14.