Hearing today on proposed East Main Street sober home


A proposal to locate a sober recovery home in a building on East Main Street, across from Riverhead Town Hall, will be the subject of a public hearing Tuesday afternoon. 

Mainstream House LLC, a drug and alcohol recovery program led by Robert Hartmann Jr. of Riverhead, is seeking a special permit to convert a building on 755 East Main Street into a home for 12 to 13 men who have undergone treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.

Mr. Hartmann, a former potato farmer, is himself a recovered addict who now is a state credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor.

The use is considered a single-family residence, according to town officials, and as such, requires a special permit to be located in the property’s office district zoning.

The public hearing, which is required for any special permit application, will take place at the 2 p.m. Town Board meeting.

Mainstream House is a for-profit organization that is not tax exempt and the people it treats pay their own way, according to Mr. Hartmann, who is looking to lease the building. Mainstream House already has seven sober houses for men in the town, and Mr. Hartmann said he would eliminate one of them if this site is approved.

The town had rented the building on 755 East Main Street as a temporary home for its building department for about two years after a fire damaged the building department office on Howell Avenue in April 2010. The town moved out of the rented building in January 2012.

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