WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — What was expected to be a quick vote by the West Haven Planning and Zoning Commission on a proposed site for a methadone clinic turned into a public hearing and no vote.
Dozens of people knew about the scheduled vote and showed up at city hall Tuesday night, hoping to persuade the commission to vote against it. The APT Foundation has proposed putting a 10,000 square foot medical office that would include a methadone clinic at 184 Front Avenue.
“I understand they’re getting help, but I also understand that’s a lifetime type of medication,” said a West Haven father.
“I’ve got three kids and I don’t want it there,” said a mother who lives near the site.
Some of the members on the Planning and Zoning Commission as well as the City Commission of Planning and Development say they’ve done their homework and found crime rates have gone down in areas where these clinics are placed. Right now, there are two clinics in New Haven and one in North Haven.
“The foundation has said there’s security and they would not allow anyone to mill around near the buildings, and that’s not the experience at some of the other locations,” said Joseph Riccio Jr., City Commission of Planning and Development.
The APT Foundation told the crowd of concerned people that out of the 2,400 people who use the New Haven facilities, roughly 500 are from West Haven and 300 from Orange. One resident in the minority who spoke out says this is exactly why the clinic is needed.
The APT Foundation says they chose West Haven because this property is zoned for this type of use.
“Nobody is saying we don’t want them treated,” said a resident. “It’s a good thing. It’s in the wrong spot.”
Some of the Planning and Zoning Commission members say they weren’t aware that the APT Foundation has already purchased that property.
After over two hours of discussion on this topic, there was no vote. In the meantime, the Commission requested a traffic study near the proposed site. The next meeting is June 10.