New Bedford Zoning Board Unanimously Denies Permit for Methadone Clinic
NEW BEDFORD (1420 WBSM) — A proposed medical clinic for Union Street in New Bedford that would offer patients methadone and other addiction treatment has been denied a special permit to operate in the downtown location by the New Bedford Zoning Board of Appeals.
As reported by WBSM’s Marcus Ferro on Thursday’s edition of SouthCoast Tonight, the five-person ZBA unanimously voted against granting the special permit, which was required for the clinic to operate at the proposed location of 268-270 Union Street.
Critics of the proposed clinic cited its location in the downtown business district as the main reason they were against it. New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell especially opposed the clinic being located right next to a pawn shop.
In a previous appearance on WBSM, Mitchell said he expected that if the ZBA denied the special permit, the applicants, Recovery Connections Center of America, would try to appeal the decision based on the Dover Amendment, a Massachusetts General Law that allows for exemptions to zoning restrictions in certain situations, and that there could be other ways for it to appeal as well.
“Certain types of medical facilities under federal law override local zoning restrictions. That’s going to be the argument you’ll hear from Recovery Connection Centers of America, and I can tell you that’s something that our legal team is looking very closely at right now,” Mitchell said.