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City Methadone clinic off agenda for now

Drug treatment center’s application to Planning Commission will wait

November 6, 2007
The possibility of a Methadone clinic opening on Reach Road couldn’t escape criticism, even as it was postponed to a later agenda.

An application for a special exception to open a Methadone clinic on Reach Road was removed from Monday’s city Planning Commission agenda because an official of the agency planning to run the facility was unavailable.

The unnamed official from Discovery House, a non-profit organization based out of Providence, R.I., canceled an appearance before the commission because of a family funeral, according to zoning officer David Hines.

The agency has an application pending for a special exception to open the clinic at 2400 Reach Road.

Methadone is a drug used to treat heroin addiction.

Although the review was postponed, commission members spent a few minutes discussing the potentially hot-button matter at the end of the meeting.

“Is there light you can shed (on this)?” Brent Fish, commission vice president, asked city officials.

A special exception is needed for such a facility to open anywhere in the city, Hines said.

Fish predicted a lot of interest will arise when the request is back before the planning commission for review and a decision on whether to recommend it to the city Zoning Hearing Board, which has final say on the matter.

He predicted it will be “a big issue” and admitted he “would not want (such a clinic) in the county (or) the city.”

Other items on the agenda received positive recommendations, either to the hearing board or City Council.

Jay Two Associates’ applications for a conditional use and land development plan goes to council with a positive review.

The developer plans to build a $750,000, eight-unit apartment building off Basin Street to the north of its existing Orleans apartments. The structure will be called the Tulane, and construction will begin as soon as all city approvals are granted, weather permitting, according to John Albarano II, who owns and runs the development company with his father, John Albarano Sr.

Special exceptions were recommended to the hearing board for two LGN Management projects requiring special exceptions for use changes.

One would allow 356 Rose St. to go from one non-conforming use, office and manufacturing, to another, contractor’s office; the other would permit 800 Race St. to go from offices and manufacturing to retail space.

The commission also recommended Habitat for Humanity’s request for a special exception to use 500 Lycoming St. for storage and a retail business selling used building supplies and, eventually, for its offices now in Hepburn Plaza.



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