Louisville Metro Planning Commission to consider limiting where - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Metro Planning Commission to consider limiting where methadone clinics open

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An ordinance passed without opposition at a Metro Council meeting Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, which requests the Louisville Metro Planning Commission research where best to place methadone clinics. An ordinance passed without opposition at a Metro Council meeting Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, which requests the Louisville Metro Planning Commission research where best to place methadone clinics.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville Metro Council wants more information before putting restrictions on where methadone clinics can open in Jefferson County.

An ordinance passed without opposition at Thursday’s Metro Council meeting that requests the Louisville Metro Planning Commission research where best to place methadone clinics. The Planning Commission will have 60 days to hold public hearings and forward its recommendation to Metro Council.

“It's something that's coming,” said District 26 councilman (D) Brent Ackerson. “Heroin is not going away. The problem is getting much worse before it gets better. So knowing that, there are going to be more methadone clinics coming up.’

Methadone clinics provide addicts with a man-made narcotic medicine. The goal of the clinics is to eventually wean the addict of any substance dependence. Currently, there are two in Louisville. One is in the Park Hill Neighborhood and operated by Metro Public Health and Wellness. The other is in St. Matthews and owned by a private, for-profit company.

Ackerson wants to see methadone clinics only built in industrial areas but he is adamant that he is not against the idea behind the clinics.

“We're not here to hinder access,” he said. “We're here to be responsible and reasonable about this and realize there are multiple benefits at play here.”

Ackerson, who sponsored the ordinance, says the need for a change came to his attention after a for-profit methadone clinic was proposed near the Bon air neighborhood. A South Carolina company wanted to open the clinic in the Bardstown Square shopping center next to Harbor Freight but that plan is currently on hold after public outcry from neighbors.

Opponents of the move say creating tighter restrictions on where clinics can open would create access problems for people who frequent the clinics.

“Areas where they would not impact residential areas or businesses that serve residential areas,” Ackerson said. “Industrial areas or even potentially near hospitals where people can get the assistance they need without having a negative impact on people around it.”

Previous: Bon Air residents turn to Metro Council to prevent methadone clinic

Related: Public outcry might stop methadone clinic from being built in Bullitt County

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