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A drug rehab center shot down by Gravesend residents who didn’t approve of the facility’s clientele has found a new home 17 blocks away from its original location.
Members of Community Board 15 in Sheepshead Bay approved One World Counseling’s request to open up on Kings Highway near E. 17th Street on Nov. 27, even though another community panel shot down owner Dmitri Oster’s request to build a facility that will cater to probationers, parolees, and those sentenced to rehab as an alternative to prison near Kings Highway and McDonald Avenue.
Community Board 11, which represents residents of Gravesend, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach, said “no, no, no” to the rehab center last month, claiming that Oster misrepresented the population his facility would serve.
“We feel strongly that this is not a good fit for the area,” said CB11 District Manager Marnee Elias-Pavia.
Yet Oster claimed he never met with CB11 members — just with CB15.
“Basically, we have no dealings with CB11 and that site on McDonald Avenue,” said Oster. “It was something we were exploring, but we have no dealings with CB11.”
CB 15 thought the commercial location on Kings Highway near E. 17th Street was a good fit for the counseling center. The area has plenty of public transportation and very few children that would come across addicts waiting for treatment, they said.
“He asked about Kings Highway and I told him its commercial,” said CB15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo. “It is less than one block from the train, the Kings Highway bus is right there, and patients will be able to reach it by mass transit without having to walk several blocks.”
Yet the board’s approval is only advisory: the city and the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse may turn Oster’s application down.
Oster acknowledged that he does accept referrals from city courts but said that the majority of his patients are referred to him through hospitals and community based organizations, especially Turkish-speaking groups.
“We have a lot of ties with the Turkish speaking community, which is growing in southern Brooklyn,” said Oster.
One World Counseling has already picked up a lease for the location near E. 17th Street, and expects to open up shop within the next three months, Oster said.Reach reporter Colin MIxson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (718) 260-4514.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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