On Oct. 24, City Councilman Brian O’Neill introduced a bill that creates a Northeast Zoning Overlay, which would prohibit certain medical uses in many zoning districts throughout the Northeast, in areas where they are currently allowed by right or by special exception. The overlay would cover both O’Neill’s 10th District and the 6th District, represented by Councilman Bobby Henon.
The bill bans the Medical, Dental and Health Practitioner use category in all commercial mixed-use (CMX) districts, the CA-1 and CA-2 auto-oriented commercial districts, and the IRMX, ICMX, I-1 and I-2 industrial districts. If the overlay were to pass, the uses could be established only by right in I-3 heavy industrial and RMX-3 residential mixed-use districts.
The category, which is split into sole and group practice, is defined as: “Office uses related to diagnosis and treatment of human patients’ illnesses, injuries, and physical malfunctions that can be performed in an office setting with no overnight care. Surgical, rehabilitation, and other medical centers that do not involve overnight patient stays are included in this subcategory, as are medical and dental laboratories, unless otherwise indicated.”
O’Neill’s bill would force zoning hearings for all new methadone clinics, and other medical uses like doctors’ offices, in the Northeast. Methadone clinics, which are facilities that provide treatment for heroin addicts, fall under the medical use category, and are not defined separately in the zoning code. ••