LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Methadone Drug Clinic Done Deal?’

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Waterland Blog nor its staff:]

For those of you who are not aware, our very own Des Moines City Council has cleared the way for a Methadone Drug Clinic in our community, this was kept quiet and under the radar from our residents in our community. Mayor Kaplan tells us it’s a Done Deal there’s nothing that the City or its community can do to stop it.

This Methadone Drug Clinic is going in at 16th and 272nd where the old hardware store used to be, within walking distance from the Woodmont Library and Woodmont Elementary School. Needless to say our friends and neighbors to the south of us are Outraged at this as we all should be as to the location of this Methadone Drug Clinic, the safety for the children going to and from school and to the library will be at risk as they will be forced to walk though this Methadone Drug Clinic, this is just not right!

There is going to be a Citizens Community Meeting this Tuesday, August 18th at Woodmont Elementary School in the gym 7- 9:30 pm, if you can make it out please attend and let our elected leaders and they all will be there, know that this is just not right and it’s not a Done Deal.

– John Castronover

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]


29 Responses to “LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Methadone Drug Clinic Done Deal?’”
  1. Dave Kaplan says:

    Sorry Mr. Castronover, but you’re mistaken. The City Council hasn’t “cleared the way” for this project. It was an allowed use under the zoning at the time they made a complete application.

    If you want facts and not fiction, please attend the meeting I set up for a conversation with the Woodmont Community next Tuesday, August 18th at Woodmont Elementary School, from 7:30pm to at least 9:00pm.

    • John Castronover says:

      Dave, it appears your wanting to give yourself a pat on the back, this meeting was going to take place with or with out your involvement, the fact of the matter is April & Candace set this meeting up along with the 83 members of the No to the Rehab Campus web page.
      KIRO 7 news told us you declined our invitation for a joint interview yesterday, Alison told us that you refused to be interviewed on camera.
      Why were there no Red Flags or Questions on behalf of our community when this first went through the permitting phase?
      You would think something would have been said, “Mayor someone just filed for a permit to build a Methadone Clinic next to a school,” is there that much disconnect within our City Hall? Alarming!

      • EHNC says:

        There was plenty of red flags and concerns. Many people attended the hearing, it was nearly standing room only. This was NOT under the radar. The applicant went through the proper process. keep in mind this is defined as an essential public facility by the state. The city cannot legally deny the application. Talk to a land use lawyer and get back to me about what the options the hearing examiner had in making his decision. Oh wait, the hearing examiner is a land use lawyer!!!

    • Chris Dula says:

      Sir I think these people need to tend to their own business and leave others to their own. The methidone clinic has been a blessing to Wilkes county and the taxes alone are a help to the county. And I speak for myself as other recovering drug addicts that we have no interest in stealing robbing or any other criminal ack in that community . We just want to get there get our dose and back home or to work as soon as possible . They should be glad that the methodone clinic is in their community because drug addicts do not want to mess up their dose and for sure won’t do anything wrong right around the clinic were the clinic would know about it so a clinic will actually make your community safer. So please tell these busy body’s to worry about something else like when their going to get help for their nerve pill use! Thank you.

  2. Wanker says:

    Wow, a new medium to beat a dead horse. This has been discussed at length. If you’re so up in arms about it, where were you in November or December when this issue was getting started. It hasn’t been a secret.

  3. Mysty Beal says:

    “…quiet and under the radar”? Wow, you’re consistently wrong, but always ready to flip the Poutrage button. Wanker, in November and December, Mr. Castronover was sidetracked by his efforts to kill the school district bond, so didn’t get the chance to kill the drug clinic.

    • John Castronover says:

      Mysty Beal, I am sure you are most likely a very nice person, you choose to dislike me and attempt to discredit me for opposing The School Bond, if that’s what you want and who you are go right ahead, however that is not the issue or the topic at hand the topic and the issue is a Methadone Clinic that’s going to be built next to a school and a library the safety of the children that go to that school and library the family’s that live next to it.

      • Mysty Beal says:

        Mr. Castronover, “nice” is relative, but I bet the people of Des Moines that have known me for the past 16 years would call me ‘fair’. Works for me. What I resent is that you just moved here two years ago, but feel compelled to tell us rubes what to think regarding school district, Port and Municipal events, like we know nothing. You may have a legitimate complaint on this particular issue, but you’re ruining your credibility and chances to persuade by crying ‘Wolf’ over anything you don’t like. Might try resting your vocal cords occasionally. BTW, your assertion that Kaplan attempted to co-opt the meeting is right on the money – always an opportunist, a result, no doubt, of his degree in Political Science.

        I almost never comment on this blog, or any other for that matter, so the Likes and Dislikes are pretty meaningless to me.

        • John Castronover says:

          Misty why do you want to shoot your mouth off to me like that? you think you know me? Lady we have never met you know nothing about me,Yes I stand up for what I believe in and I am not shy to express my opinion when doing so, some people choose to say nothing not get involved and just look the other way on issues that effect us I don’t and if that bothers you so what, you have made it clear that your the one that has problem here lady not me.
          And for what is worth we have lived here in Des Moines for close to a decade now.

          Sent from my iPad

  4. BirchCreek says:

    Working in the medical filed I see patients on these programs from time to time.
    The methadone clinic could be good or bad depending on how it attracts other potential vice to the area. Patients on these programs do frequently relapse and I am not sure a library and school are a good neighbors for this the of program.
    How about looking at a provisional zoning permit that has a time limit on it for review?
    Looking at our neighbors to the north in Burien, the drug and alcohol abusing population there has exploded. I don’t want to see that here. Good thing we Don’t have a transit center here as it has provided a dumping point for troubled folks out of the downtown area. I know that for liberal sensitivities this may not be a politically correct thought. But the truth is often painful.

  5. EHNC says:

    The City of DM went through a proper, legal, and thorough process to approve this medical and alcohol recovery campus (not simply a methadone clinic). They provided public notice to neighbors well beyond the requirement, and did so twice prior to the public hearing. They informed the school, including the principal at the time, and the superintendent, and got crickets from them.

    These people who will be staying at this facility are your family members, friends, neighbors. They are not the scum of the earth. They are people who need help and who would otherwise be on the streets committing petty crimes trying to get their next fix or not being on their needed medications. Stop acting like typical NIMBYS and have a heart. You bought your homes near a major state highway and property that was zoned for this for quite some time. Do your homework next time. I would have.

    Birch, perhaps if we had a place for folks to go instead of just lingering around a transit center things would be better? Services are needed. Compassion is needed. The world has no place for all you NIMBYS.

    • Wanker says:

      Finally someone with common sense. Everyone’s acting like the city somehow snuck this by intentionally to deceive the residents. The city didn’t own the land, and can’t pick and choose what gets built on private property simply because they don’t like the idea despite how it’s zoned.

      Also, go drive or walk by that property. Look deep into the woods, and see all the garbage from people living/camping in there. In my opinion I would rather have a controlled, secure and managed facility there than the wood where we dont know whats going on. Hwy 99 is a magnate for crime no matter what city it goes through, with empty spaces becoming areas for illegal activity.

      If you really want to be outraged, how about taking your anger out on all the seedy motels that cater to illegal activity, or the bars that contribute to the addiction, or even the convenience stores that sell malt liquor.

  6. Jeff H. says:

    Mayor Kaplan, the meeting on Tuesday is a grassroots effort by residents, not a “Mayor’s Community Meeting” as listed on this page. I request you change the wording to reflect that. You’re giving the appearance that you originated it when you didn’t.


    It’s unfortunate that people weren’t aware of the city council’s actions. However, this is
    why we have elections: to elect council members to represent us with the expectation that they’ll do right by Des Moines residents. That didn’t happen here. A project with such a huge impact should’ve had good-faith efforts to educate the residents whom it impacted. A “Mayor’s Community Meeting” should’ve been held last YEAR. Nothing beyond the bare legal minimum was done, giving the appearance that the council did indeed slip one by us.

    I fail to understand why concern for children being exposed to drug users is “beating a
    dead horse”. Wanker, I suspect you don’t like in the area, although I don’t, either, and
    it’s of grave concern to me. If I lived in Woodmont I would be raising holy Hell right now.

  7. Jeff H. says:

    EHNC, where are the minutes of the hearing committee meeting? I can’t find them anywhere on the city’s website. Thank you.

    • Jeff H. says:

      Never mind. I found it on my own. It’s interesting that there was quite a bit of disagreement from residents, yet their concerns were virtually ignored. They didn’t matter, making the accusation of not paying attention to local politics a moot one.

      • EHNC says:

        The Hearing Examiner did everything he could to mitigate the impacts. Which is the definition of a conditional use permit. A conditional use permit is just that, a conditional use. its an ALLOWED use, with conditions. AND, let me say this slowly so that you all can understand… its an essential. public. facility. It could not be denied by state law.

        • BirchCreek says:

          I don’t think anyone is arguing that treatment facilities aren’t essential. Maybe I got this wrong, but it seems the concern is the close proximity to the school and library of the drug treatment facility. Is this not a reasonable concern? Hopefully the library will fare better than the Burien Library to the north of us.

          • EHNC says:

            Do some reading, and then get back to me.

            Essential Public Facilities – RCW 36.70A.200, and WAC 365-196-550 (no comprehensive plan or development regulations may preclude the siting of EPFs)

            Essential public facilities (EPFs) include those facilities that are typically difficult to site, such as airports, state education facilities and state or regional transportation facilities as defined in RCW 47.06.140, state and local correctional facilities, solid waste handling facilities, and in-patient facilities including substance abuse facilities, mental health facilities, group homes, and secure community transition facilities as defined in RCW 71.09.020.

            Both cities and counties must develop criteria for the siting of EPFs as per RCW 36.70A.200, WAC 365-196-550, WAC 365-196-560, and WAC 365-196-570. RCW 36.70A.103 requires that “state agencies shall comply with the local comprehensive plans and development regulations and amendments thereto adopted pursuant to this chapter.” On the other hand, RCW 36.70A.200 states that “no local plan or development regulation may preclude the siting of essential public facilities”.

            Taken together, it appears that a city does have zoning control over EPFs, but may not, through zoning, prevent siting of facilities which meet the definition of “essential public facilities.” Some zoning restrictions apparently are possible, but not if the effect of these restrictions is to effectively preclude any EPFs from locating within the city.

            The Growth Management Hearings Boards have addressed issues related to EPFs. Each of the three boards has a Digest of Decisions posted on their respective Web pages.

          • BirchCreek says:

            Thats all interesting information EHNC, but I don’t think you read my post. I was not saying the it is not a essential facility. The debate seems to be its proximity to a school and library.
            Is this not a valid concern? I just drove past a treatment facility this morning off of Airport Way in Seattle. It is in a commercial area, well removed from residential areas. That seemed a wiser location. Now before you put out the cliche’ “NIMBY” (not in my back yard) attack, consider that decisions for good of all in our community should be made wisely and thoughtfully. If this is a thoughtful and wise plan approved by the City Council, time will prove this out. If not…

          • EHNC says:

            OMG. you really don’t get it. IT WAS NOT APPROVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL. it went to the hearing examiner. who is a land use lawyer.

            THEY CANNOT DENY THIS TYPE OF USE. IT IS STATE LAW. by law, they cannot put in the zoning code that it is not permitted. this council had done that. Many council do that because of NIMBYS. However, they could be sued for doing that or lose state funding.

            This is why the location is a mute point. Even though I think its a great location along the bus route in south king county, where the services are needed badly.

          • BirchCreek says:

            EHNC, then why can’t the same concern for local communities not be made by the “hearing examiner”? There has to be some common sense in government and in the interpretation of rules and regulation. Maybe I’m just a pie in the sky kind of guy, but surely there is a better location.
            I’ve no problem with the treatment facility, just it’s location.

        • EHNC says:

          I don’t disagree with you. but people are pointing fingers at the wrong entity. Talk to your state reps. Change the STATE law. The local jurisdictions hands are tied in these types of situations. If they tried to deny the application they risk being sued. DM does not have the money to defend a lawsuit of such magnitude.

  8. kathy says:

    I can’t believe I only heard about this today. We love in that area. I would never had let that come in here. We have teens

  9. E Miller says:

    A better location would be close to the SCORE facility which is also in Des Moines. There is already security in this area, a need next to the jail for chemically dependent or mentally ill people being discharged or admitted improperly to the SCORE facility.

  10. Patrick M. McAteer says:

    Look people, Methadone is the most high;y regulated drug in the United States, with that comes many strict guidelines and rules that must be followed by the dispensaries and their clients. If you people stopped to think instead of react you would know that the people are there to get their dose, see their counselor and leave. Breaking the rules gets them kicked out of the program very quickly. Early morning clients usually have jobs and normal home life. It is the newbies and late dosing clients that are the problem children, they usually go away within a month or two. Educate yourselves people. An educated person is well rounded and prepared to handle life’s problems. Ignorant, fearful people get treated to George W. Bush and deserve what happens.
    Patrick M. McAteer

    • John Castronover says:

      To consider that everyone coming to this clinic to get their methadone fix are going to be law abiding citizens would be foolish.
      Patrick, thank you for your opinion on methadone, addicts and the clinics.

    • BirchCreek says:

      Patrick, in the course of my health care professional work, I often have dealings with people on methadone treatment. I’ve seen the people suffering the consequences of thier relpases. I’m sure for the most part most of the people do very well on the treatment. But it would be foolish to blindly assume that all people on the treatent do not relapse. But many do relapse and I think it poor judgment to place these relapsing events in the proximity of a school and library, let alone a residential neighborhood. I have no problem with treatment centers, I believe they are beneficial to society as a whole. But the good of society has to be taken into account when placing treatment centers. Is that too much to ask? I recently was diving into downtown Seattle and passed by a treatment center on Airport Way. This seemed like a very wise location, away from residential areas.
      Why can we not do this here in Des Moines in the new industiral area north of 216th? I don’t think that is too much to ask.
      As a side thought, why the bizaar political jab at the end of your opinion piece? You kind of lose credibility with ad hominem attacks.

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