Everett City Council Says A Clinic, Is A Clinic, Is A Clinic. But Can They Be Downtown?


The Everett City Council continues to struggle with services in the downtown Everett core.

Tonight the Everett City Council held a public hearing over a proposed ordinance to remove treating methadone clinics or other opiate substitution treatment facilities differently than any other medical clinic. This came about after the Everett Planning Commission looked into the current Everett Zoning code that only allowed one methadone treatment facility within the city limits. The Planning Commission had the city’s legal department do some research and they found restricting medical treatment facilities by illness or method of treatment is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The City of Everett has been considering where to locate another methadone clinic after a request by the operator of the current clinic in south Everett. At one point the operator found a space that was inside the city’s B-3 downtown business zone. That led to an uproar from downtown Everett business owners who argued against any methadone or other opiate substitution treatment facilities in the downtown Everett area. Before much action could be taken the location being considered was off the market but the question remained.

On February 7th an initial reading of the ordinance was held. Tonight was the public hearing and a scheduled vote. The council heard from 16 citizens, the majority of which argued from any restrictions at all. There were six people who argued that such facilities in downtown would harm business owners attempts to keep the city friendly and safe.

In council discussion there was unanimous consent that the definition of clinic in Everett be changed and that all clinics be treated equally. The issue then became whether all clinics then should be prohibited from operating in the downtown B-3 zone. If that idea were to move forward then about 50 practitioners would be operating in a non-conforming use. The council could also choose to restrict any medical clinic downtown from operating at a ground level location, the theory that ground floor space downtown should be reserved for retail. After much back and forth by council members they continued the hearing to a later date to give the planning department time to give them options on what could be allowed or restricted in the downtown B-3 zone and what consequences a particular decision would bring. The date for the next hearing has not yet been scheduled.


About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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