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Philly neighborhood says ‘Not on our block’ to methadone clinic

7/6/2013 | Real Estate Blog

When the Court of Common Pleas reinstated their permit in June, it looked as though the owners of a new business would finally get to open their doors. The two have been fighting for two years to open a methadone clinic in Philadelphia’s Holmesburg neighborhood, facing staunch opposition from other businesses in the area.

According to the clinic owners’ attorney, both the state and the city have endorsed Holmesburg as a location for an opiate addiction treatment facility. The idea is to open clinics close to where clients live and work, and authorities say the neighborhood needs the clinic. If only the neighbors would agree.

Business owners and managers near the site are worried about their own and their customers’ safety if the clinic opens. They also worry that there will not be enough parking. One business owner said, simply, “We have our own problems.” As for the community needing the clinic, another opponent pointed out that there are already two clinics within a two-mile radius of this location.

The clinic’s attorney doesn’t buy it. The site is zoned for commercial use, he said, there is no parking requirement, and most of the clients will use public transportation. He added that the owners will try to overcome the neighborhood’s bias by hosting informational meetings about addiction and treatment.

The owners are new to running a clinic but have both worked in treatment facilities. They will hire “high-level on-site physicians” to provide services to their clients. Methadone clinics dispense the drug to people who have abused opiates, including heroin, oxycontin and hydrocodone.

The neighborhood plans to appeal the court’s decision.

Source: NBC 10 Philadelphia, “Holmesburg United Against Methadone Clinic,” Sarah Glover, June 27, 2013