Waveland Board of Aldermen shoots down methadone clinic
By Dwayne Bremer
Aug 8, 2014, 19:25
The Waveland Board of Aldermen on Tuesday denied a conditional use request from a company which wants to put a methadone clinic in the Waveland Professional Plaza on Highway 90.
Two weeks ago, Colonial Management Group appeared before the city's planning and zoning commission to ask for the conditional use.
The Waveland Professional Plaza is located behind Sonic and was the former home of city government while city hall was under construction.
The property is zoned C-3. Under the existing zoning, medical operations are not included as a by-right usage, thus the need for the conditional use, officials said.
Colonial officials said that they wanted to open the clinic to help people on the Gulf Coast who are struggling from heroin and opiate addictions.
Additionally, officials said, the clinic would create jobs and bring a lot of indirect financial benefits to the city.
Colonial Director of Development James Skully said the clinic would benefit the community because it would bring jobs and help addicts get their lives back in order.
He said a methadone clinic is often stereotyped as a place for unsavory people, but that is often not the case.
Methadone treatment consists of a doctor prescribing methadone to help wean an addict off of a particular drug.
Methadone is a different drug than methamphetamine. Methadone treatments are considered a safe alternative to alleviate symptoms of withdrawal, Skully said.
"There are a lot of people who are addicted to pain-killers," he said. "A lot of these people are ordinary people. There are doctors, lawyers, teachers, and family members who go to these types of clinics."
The planning and zoning commission questioned the need for the clinic and also asked about possible negative effects on the city.
The commission, which is a recommending body, voted to oppose the conditional use.
On Wednesday, the board of aldermen voted 4-0 to follow the planning and zoning's recommendation.
Officials at Colonial were unavailable for comment by press time Friday.
The company can appeal the city's decision to circuit court, but it has not indicated if it will do so.