Fab.19, 2021 – The project was proposed in December to the city planning commission, but Smith says she wasn’t made aware of it until weeks later.

“I feel like the transparency about this project wasn’t there from the start in terms of letting the rest of the city know,” Smith said.

Brian Der Vartanian, the owner of Rodeway Inn Motel, said the detox facility is far enough away from downtown, easily accessible to those in need, and will be professionally staffed.

“There will be licensed individuals and it will be tightly monitored, same as a hospital or treatment center,” Der Vartanian said.

Der Vartanian’s company, soon to be called Morro Bay Recovery, is currently based in Los Angeles. He hopes people look past the stigma of these facilities.

“We are going to treat people. We are not going to give them drugs,” he said. “We are going to make them part of society back where they belong.”

Across the parking lot of the motel, Maya Restaurant employees are worried about safety and business impacts.

“I have nothing against people trying to rehabilitate, but this is not the location for it,” server Mary Smith said.



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