West Chester residents don't want drug rehab center next to day care center, baseball fields

Posted at 7:52 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 23:13:47-04

PISGAH, Ohio -- Residents are fighting to keep a proposed drug rehab center away from their homes, a day care and a youth baseball field.

Dr. Muhamed Aziz owns Professional Psychiatric Services in Mason and bought a former nursing home here last year. Once neighbors found out he wanted to put drug and psychiatric patients there, they spoke up and began to fight.

The area surrounding the proposed treatment center is teaming with kids from Hickory Dickory Tots and the Pisgah Youth Organization's baseball league.

"We do have over 900 kids and families here. The day care has over 250 kids there," says Greg Ernst, PYO president.

 "We're nervous. We're nervous that we're going to start losing memberships, that people are going to go up to Mason or Sharonville and leave us. That's our lifeblood."

Stephanie King lives behind the proposed site and opposes it.

"It would be unfavorable to have it in my backyard," King says.

"I want them to get help and my prayers are with them, but I definitely would like them to get help in an area that is not in someone's backyard."

With all of the objections, including the day care's, West Chester put a moratorium on all proposed rehab centers. They wanted to change the zoning to require this type of facility to undergo more scrutiny before being granted a permit.

Residents got a small victory Tuesday when the Butler County planning commission approved West Chester's plan to change its zoning regulations.

Ernst says he knows there is a need for treatment, but where the treatment happens is his concern.

"It's all about location," he said.

WCPO went to Professional Psychiatric Services to ask Dr.  Aziz, for more details about his proposal, but we were told he had a full patient load.

And the fight isn't over. Aziz sued West Chester in federal court, saying the moratorium violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.