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Residents Concerned about Rehab House Opening Near North Hills Neighborhood

The possibility of a rehab house coming to the North Hills neighborhood area in Knoxville is alarming some residents.

"Most of us have been here over 20 years and we just don't want something like this in the neighborhood," Diane Merritt, who lives in North Hills, said.

The community met for the second time on Thursday night to discuss the issues they have with the city and with the rehab house manager.

Tracy Miller-Davis grew up in the house that will soon become a rehab house and she now lives next door.

She said it's not the fact that people will live there and try to recover, but the whole process seemed fishy to her.

"I think the main problem is that they did it so underhandedly. We had no idea. I guess you don't have to disclose that information when you buy a house," Miller-Davis said.

Others aren't happy about the number of people in one house.

"He tells us there's going to be a total of 11 people in this house!" Merritt said.

Merritt thinks this operation in her neighborhood qualifies as a business and shouldn't be allowed.

"Somehow they got through this loophole because it's a recovery which is a disability," Merritt said.

City Councilwoman, Lauren Rider said this is a tricky situation.

"You can't discriminate someone who's in sober recovery and say they can't live somewhere because that's a violation of the Fair Housing Act," rider said.

Once the new tenants move in, she said the house manager will lay out strict guidelines for each of them.

"If someone doesn't follow the rules they will be asked to leave and expelled from living there," Councilwoman Rider said.

For now, the plan to open the recovery center is still in full swing, but Rider said the next meeting will consist of law experts with the city to look over the legal aspect.

So far, that date has not been set.

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