Northeast Times

Methadone clinic opposed

Mem­bers of the Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation last week over­whelm­ingly voted to op­pose a pro­posed meth­adone clin­ic at 7520 State Road.

The vote was 18-1.

The clin­ic, which would be loc­ated next to Sweet Lucy’s Smoke­house, is un­re­lated to one planned for Frank­ford Av­en­ue and Dec­atur Street.

One man sug­ges­ted al­low­ing the State Road loc­a­tion to open be­cause it is in a some­what in­dus­tri­al area. If it opens, he ar­gued, the clin­ic on Frank­ford Av­en­ue — which would be close to houses, schools, churches and busi­nesses — would be less likely to win ap­prov­al.

“Let Sweet Lucy’s move,” he said.

However, he was in the minor­ity.

Rich Frizell, pres­id­ent of the civic as­so­ci­ation, said be­fore the vote that the ex­ec­ut­ive board was in op­pos­i­tion. The board and rep­res­ent­at­ives of oth­er loc­al civic groups and elec­ted of­fi­cials had met with the op­er­at­or, North­East Treat­ment Cen­ters, on Oct. 16.

On Elec­tion Day, op­pon­ents col­lec­ted about 300 sig­na­tures on a pe­ti­tion.

Frizell views the clin­ic as fur­ther in­dus­tri­al­iz­a­tion of a cor­ridor just west of the Delaware River wa­ter­front, where a long-delayed de­vel­op­ment plan in­cludes hous­ing. Fluke’s Pub is a block away.

State Road, he noted,  already is home to mul­tiple pris­ons and thou­sands of in­mates, and he doesn’t think it would be fair to add a meth­adone clin­ic.

Meth­adone is used to wean people off drugs, and Frizell ac­know­ledged that there is a drug prob­lem in Holmes­burg and the North­east. Still, he and oth­ers ques­tioned wheth­er meth­adone is ef­fect­ive. He be­lieves a 60,000-square-foot build­ing is too large, and he ex­pects NET to even­tu­ally ex­pand if the clin­ic is giv­en ini­tial ap­prov­al.

NET will seek to win a vari­ance at a Zon­ing Board of Ad­just­ment hear­ing on Wed­nes­day, Nov. 28.

“We hope all of Holmes­burg will show up and say, ‘Please, no,’”Frizell said.

• • •

Mean­while, a hear­ing is sched­uled in Com­mon Pleas Court on Dec. 5, as op­er­at­ors of a planned meth­adone clin­ic at 7900-04 Frank­ford Ave. ap­peal a rul­ing by the ZBA to re­voke per­mits that were is­sued by the city De­part­ment of Li­censes and In­spec­tions.

Dawn Tan­credi, at­tor­ney for neigh­bors op­posed to the clin­ic, ex­plained that both sides have sub­mit­ted briefs. She does not be­lieve the com­mer­cially zoned prop­erty al­lows a meth­adone clin­ic. The Heal­ing Way con­tends that a C-2 zon­ing per­mits a clin­ic by right.

Tan­credi said Judge Idee C. Fox could rule that day or hold the mat­ter un­der ad­vise­ment. The loser of the court case al­most cer­tainly will ap­peal to Com­mon­wealth Court.

“That could last an­oth­er six months to a year,” Tan­credi said.

• • •

Joe Kruvczuk, a sci­ence teach­er, edged Ren­ee Co­hen, a law­yer, by a vote of 9-8 to win the civic as­so­ci­ation’s va­cant vice pres­id­en­tial post. Barb Kleschick was un­op­posed for an­oth­er term as treas­urer. Kruvczuk and Kleschick will serve two-year terms.

• • •

The of­fices of state Rep. Kev­in Boyle are col­lect­ing non-per­ish­able food items through Christ­mas. The food will be donated to loc­al or­gan­iz­a­tions for dis­tri­bu­tion to the needy. 

The of­fices are loc­ated at 7518 Frank­ford Ave. in Holmes­burg and 7801-A Has­brook Ave. in Fox Chase. Call 215-695-1016.

• • •

City Coun­cil­man Bobby Hen­on has ar­ranged for the Coun­cil Pub­lic Safety and Li­censes and In­spec­tions com­mit­tees to hold a joint hear­ing on Tues­day, Nov. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., at St. Bern­ard par­ish hall, at 4427 Aldine St.

The hear­ing will tar­get so-called “bad neigh­bors.” 

Hen­on re­cently formed a Prob­lem Prop­er­ties Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil, which met for the first time last week in Brides­burg.

Any­one want­ing to re­port a prob­lem prop­erty can call Hen­on’s of­fice at 215-686-3444.

• • •

Holmes­burg Civic As­so­ci­ation’s next meet­ing will be on Tues­day, Dec. 11, at 7:15 p.m., at the Holmes­burg Re­cre­ation Cen­ter, Rhawn and Dit­man streets. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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