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 Bristol council sets limits on clinics

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PostSubject: Bristol council sets limits on clinics   Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:05 am

BRISTOL, Tenn. – City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday night that dramatically limits where methadone clinics and substance-abuse treatment facilities can be located and bans them from being placed within 1,000 feet of a day-care center or school.

“It’s a wise move that we pass this,” said Mayor Margaret Feierabend, after she and four fellow council members voted unanimously in favor of the measure. It will require that methadone clinics and substance-abuse treatment centers be located only in general-industrial, non-residential areas of Bristol.

City Manager Jeffrey Broughton said the ordinance is a reasonable compromise since Bristol can’t keep legal, licensed drug-related facilities completely out of the city. “This change, we think, is appropriate,” Broughton said.

Over the past two months, city officials pushed to set new guidelines on treatment sites after watching neighboring Kingsport scramble to block plans by a Dallas firm to put a methadone clinic in a former restaurant there.

Bristol’s Planning Commission also called for tighter restrictions on the facilities. In addition to limiting them to industrial areas, the ordinance allows patients to be treated only on an outpatient basis. Special-use permits must also be obtained and only after extensive city review.

Last year, Bristol was the site of a controversial debate over a proposal by the Haven of Rest, one of the city’s Christian missions, to build Grace Home of Bristol – an 18-bed residential facility for women recovering from addictions – on Second Street.

The city eventually approved the plan, but it was actively opposed by numerous residents and officials of the YWCA of Bristol. The YWCA expressed concerns about having a facility treating adults for addictions so close to its State Street building, which includes a children’s playground and day-care operation.

Grace Home of Bristol is now under construction, and is expected to open by early 2011.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, YWCA board member Marylynn Satterwhite criticized City Council members for taking a tough stand on licensed methadone and substance-abuse treatment centers,while allowing the Haven of Rest to put its unlicensed facility so close to the YWCA.

“What layers of protection are in place for the 80 children at the YWCA?” Satterwhite asked.

City officials have said that because Grace Home will only provide spiritual-based, non-medical treatment, it wouldn’t have been barred under the new law.

This article comes from the TRI-CITIES.COM and the original link is

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