Thursday September 06, 2012
The South Burlington-based methadone clinic, proposed by HowardCenter, was officially approved by the City of South Burlington Friday, August 24.
HowardCenter, a non-profit agency in Burlington since the 1870s, offers mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and child and family treatment services. The agency currently offers two methadone services: the Chittenden Clinic (in collaboration with UVM and FAHC) and the medication-assisted treatment service at Twin Oaks. For over 10 years, the HowardCenter has been top-in-class for helping Vermonters overcome their opiod addictions, but with clientele growth shooting from 40-400 in that time span, the current space just is not enough.
Howard Center submitted an application to the SB Planning & Zoning Department to renovate the interior of the 364 Dorset Street office space. According to Administrative Officer Ray Belair, the building is already approved for medical use, and Howard Center would not be changing that use.
Once applications are approved, they enter a 15-day appeal period. As the clinic received city approval August 24th, the appeal period would commence the day after, or August 25th and end on September 8th.
Appeals of the Administrative Officer’s decision are only permissible from “interested parties.” The interested person would go before the Development Review Board, prove him/herself an interested person, and if approved as such, could put the decision on hold. The permit would then be adjudicated at the Environmental Court, and possibly the Vermont Supreme Court.
As of press time, there had not been any interested persons in opposition of the permit approval.
SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent