Neighbors appeal planning board’s approval of methadone clinic in Warren

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff
Posted June 25, 2012, at 11:44 a.m.

WARREN, Maine — Neighbors who live near a proposed methadone clinic have filed an appeal of the planning board approval of the project.

The appeal was filed last week by attorney James Strong of Thomaston on behalf of neighbors he has represented during the town’s review of the proposed clinic sought by CRC Health.

The planning board voted 3-2 at its June 5 meeting to approve the clinic that is proposed to be located on Route 1 by Short Street.

The neighbors claim in their appeal that the planning board erred in determining that the clinic conformed to the town’s land use ordinances and comprehensive plan. The appeal cites congestion and unsafe highway conditions as well as the location of the clinic within 500 feet of 17 homes.

“The Planning Board erred in granting applicant’s request for ‘a reasonable accommodation’ resulting in the total and complete abrogation and nullification of the duly enacted “Large Facility” Ordinance,” the appeal claims.

The neighbors filing the appeal are John Turner, Jennifer Turner, Marianne Pellicani, Wendy McKenzie, Terry Walsh, Stephen Wood and Patricia Wood.

A meeting of the Warren Zoning Board of Appeals to hear the appeal has yet to be scheduled, according to Warren Town Manager Grant Watmough. The board is asking attorney William Kelley if he will represent the board when it considers the appeal, the town manager said.

CRC has sought to get approval of a methadone clinic in Warren since the fall of 2010.

The Board of Selectmen had initially given approval to selling a former school building to Robert Emery, who was going to lease the property to CRC.

A storm of protest from the public caused the board to drop the sale plans.

Residents enacted a 180-day moratorium on methadone clinics in March and then approved regulations for such clinics.

CRC sued the town in federal court in May 2011, claiming that its actions as well as efforts to impose new regulations violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court in Portland.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/06/25/news/neighbors-appeal-planning-boards-approval-of-methadone-clinic-in-warren/ printed on August 23, 2014