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Drewlo Holdings voices opposition ahead of public meeting on supervised consumption site

In Dec. 2018, city council rezoned the York Street address of a former musical instrument shop to allow for a supervised consumption facility. Middlesex-London Health Unit

A major developer and landlord in London is expressing strong opposition to a planned supervised consumption site near one of its residential buildings.

READ MORE: Health Canada approves two permanent consumption sites in London

A public participation on the push to re-zone 446 York St. to allow for the facility is scheduled for Monday afternoon in council chambers.

Drewlo Holdings released a statement beforehand, arguing that the site would be too close to Beal and Catholic Central secondary schools and that residents already face security issues because of the nearby Men’s Mission.

The company also accuses the city of trying to fast-track approval inappropriately.

“We strongly agree that there is a moral responsibility within the community to help people with addiction problems,” the statement reads, “but this ‘band-aid’ approach does not solve the problems presented by the crisis in our community.”

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On Friday, Coun. Maureen Cassidy told Global News Radio 980 CFPL that she believes that much of the opposition comes from fear.

“[A supervised consumption facility] calms the neighbourhood, it makes the neighbourhood safer and better, and it works and it saves lives,” she argued.

“It gets people that have these problems in their lives access to the help that they need.”

In its report on the proposed re-zoning of 446 York, city staff note that the location meets the needs of those they are trying to serve. City staff say 446 York is in an area where drug consumption is prevalent, is well-serviced by transit, allows for discretion for users, is close to other addiction-related support services including the Men’s Mission, and is far enough away from area schools.

The report states that the site would be a 400-metre walking distance from Catholic Central and while it would be 95 metres away from Beal’s sports field, the field is fenced and the primary entrance would be a 260-metre walk from the site.

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– with files from 980 CFPL’s Matthew Trevithick.

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