Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

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 Methadone clinic a go after suit settled with Fayette

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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Methadone clinic a go after suit settled with Fayette   Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:39 am

Methadone clinic a go after suit settled with Fayette

By Liz Zemba, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, October 1, 2010

Here's a plus for the MMT community. It goes to show that if we take a stand changes can be made. Course if the clinic ends up being like some of the other "not so good" clinics, don't know how much benefit we the MMT community will get from it, but it is a step in the right direction for changing the way MMT clinics and pts are treated.

The attorney for a Washington County company that filed a federal lawsuit after it was denied a special exception to operate a methadone treatment facility in Fayette County said Thursday the company has received the go-ahead to open the clinic.

The lawsuit filed by LLS Realty against Fayette County and its zoning hearing board was marked in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh as settled. The three-page filing included no details of the settlement.

Chad I. Michaelson, a Pittsburgh attorney who represents LLS Realty, said part of the settlement allows LLS to proceed with plans to locate a medical clinic on Route 51. Citing a confidentiality agreement, Michaelson declined additional comment.

Neva Stanger, the Pittsburgh attorney for the county and the zoning hearing board, could not be reached for comment.

Last week, Fayette County commissioners had discussed a possible settlement with LLS, but they took no official action.

Commissioner Angela Zimmerlink last week said the settlement included a monetary payment to LLS. She did not disclose the amount and could not be reached yesterday.

Zimmerlink had wanted to bring the proposed settlement before the board for a vote.

In addition, she wanted commissioners to vote on a motion that would eliminate the term "methadone treatment facility" from a zoning ordinance. The motion would have added "office, medical/methadone treatment facility by special exception" in specific zoning districts, including the clinic's site.

Commissioners said the changes to the ordinance were part of the proposed settlement agreement.

Both motions failed after commissioners Vincent Vicites and Vincent Zapotosky voted against placing them on the board's agenda. Zimmerlink said it would have brought the ordinance in compliance with state and federal law.

Zapotosky last week said he still had concerns about the settlement, including those involving traffic safety at the site.

Vicites yesterday deferred comment on the settlement to Joseph Ferens, county solicitor. Ferens could not be reached for comment.

The zoning hearing board had denied the special exception in November. The board said the treatment facility would have been within 1,000 feet of residences and within a PennDOT right of way.

LLS claimed in its lawsuit that the section of the ordinance that prohibits placing a methadone clinic within 1,000 feet of residences, schools, public playgrounds, parks, hospitals or places of worship is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

original article can be read at this link

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleyindependent/news/s_702185.html


RuthAnn
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We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

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