Neighbors furious after rehab group home opens next door

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Neighbors in a Phoenix community are furious after learning recovering addicts just moved into a house on their block.

"We're real concerned about the change in environment that might happen," said Peggy Weeks.

Weeks and others live on or near Shangri La Road, which is near 36th Street and Cholla in Phoenix. Their worries stem from the new neighbors.

Advanced Sober Living, LLC just moved in, opening a drug and alcohol rehab group home.

"We're very concerned about the safety of the neighborhood, the traffic associated with this increased number of people here. We're concerned about our property values," said neighbor David Nelson.

It is a close community and many of the neighbors have come together hiring the Rose Law Group to try and get what they say is essentially a commercial business out of their residential area.

"This operator is attempting to do something that the deed restrictions just don't allow," said president and founder of Rose Law Group Jordan Rose.

We're told the group home was allowed to open despite those restrictions under the Fair Housing Act. The City of Phoenix automatically grants an accommodation for up to five of these facilities per half-mile. They say according to their records, this is the fifth one for this area, so they're not doing anything wrong.

Neighbors we talked to say this would actually be the sixth group home and they're also claiming there are no therapists, support staff or drug testing going on in the home.

"Because they don't have any of that they're really not in the protected class as identified in the Fair Housing Act. Therefore, we believe they shouldn't even be here," Nelson said.

Rose Law Group sent the property owner and the group home operator a demand letter, but they've not received a response yet.

We also reached out and did not hear back on Thursday. The Owner of Advanced Sober Living, LLC responded to our story Friday after it aired. He says his facility is not open for business yet, and therefore he suggests the public should wait before they make a judgment on something that is not even open.

At this point, the neighbors are weighing their options about what comes next, but they do hope their plight serves as a wake-up call for others.

"We would just warn people this can happen anywhere at any time," Weeks said.

This is just the latest case like this in the Valley.

Jordan Rose says they've already defeated six in just the last eight months, with more people reaching out all the time.

She has a few theories as to why there seems to be an increase in the number of group homes seeking to open up in residential neighborhoods.

The first has to do with a change by Obama's Department of Justice soon after the election which makes it easier for these facilities to move in.

The second has to do with California cracking down on group homes.

"So, these operators and you'll find most are California companies, they all flocked to Arizona and Nevada to set up shop and continue to do their business and so that's why we're seeing these all over the Valley," said Rose.

Her advice for homeowners, figure out your specific property restrictions for your area and try to work directly with your city if this happens in your neighborhood.

We'll let you know what happens.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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