Everett Council Removes Restrictions On Methadone Clinics (Except In Downtown)


The Everett City Council has changed the city’s zoning code so methadone clinics are treated as any other clinic.

For years Everett City zoning codes only allowed one opiate substitution treatment clinic offering methadone to operate within the city limits and that was restricted to south of the Boeing Freeway. As the city planning commission studied a request from the operator of the city’s only methadone clinic to add another location research showed that Everett’s ordinance that treated opiate substitution treatment clinics differently than other clinics was a violation of Federal law.

Wednesday night the Everett City Council passed an ordinance that removed the special restrictions against opiate substitution treatment clinics and opened the door for all clinics in Everett to be treated the same way. The city council though then passed an amendment to the ordinance that then said no new clinics of any kind could be opened in the B-3 district that comprises the downtown Everett retail core for nine months. Existing clinics are not affected by the ruling. The reason for the nine month clause is to give council members time to address the concerns of downtown Everett business owners that allowing clinics (which can now include opiate substitution treatment facilities) would damage downtown businesses which many claim are in a fragile state. Everett real estate developer Craig Skotdal told the council that the turnover rate of the new AERO Apartments downtown is at 67 percent, about 20 percent above the industry average and renters in exit interviews say they don’t feel safe in downtown Everett. Skotdal also said there are two retail businesses on Colby Avenue that won’t be here next year.

Metro Everett

The 9 month delay will give the city time to decide how clinics fit in to the Metro Everett area.

The city is currently developing what is called the Metro Everett plan to encourage density downtown and in the area of the transit center and proposed light rail station.

Options to be considered within the next nine months include not allowing clinics on streets designated as retail areas, allowing clinics on floors above street level or some other designation still to be determined. The council also allowed one other exemption in downtown Everett. Government Public Health Agencies such as the Snohomish Health District would be allowed in the B3 area even though they offer treatment and services for a variety of contagious diseases.

Mayor Cassie Franklin pledged to work with the people wanting to open another methadone clinic in Everett to find a suitable location. With the limitations removed there are a variety of places in north Everett where the need has been identified as the greatest that would be outside the downtown Everett business district.


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