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Tribunal hears businesses’ appeal against location for London 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 decision is forthcoming following an appeal of London city council’s decision to approve rezoning to allow for a permanent safe consumption site.

Drewlo Holdings, Northview Apartments London, Lance Howard Group and Burwell Auto Body Limited are the businesses appealing the decision to rezone 446 York Street.

Lawyers representing both sides presented their arguments to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), overseen by lawyer and LPAT member, Blair Taylor.

Alan Patton, the lawyer representing Burwell Auto Body and Lance Howard Group, said his clients were worried about the site becoming a social activity, attracting more people to the area.

READ MORE: No fear over risk of gap in service after appeal filed over plans for permanent supervised consumption site: RHAC

“Loitering after taking their daily dosage, hanging around the premise and across from Burwell Auto Body,” said Patton, outlining some of the concerns.

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Analee Baroudi, legal counsel for Northview Apartment and Drewlo Holdings, argued that based on zoning bylaws for the land use in that area, the clinic could only be an accessory to the offices, not the primary function.

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Baroudi also agued the site is too close to schools and daycare facilities, which include H.B. Beal Secondary School, Childreach, London Bridge Child Care (LBCC), and the YMCA.

During the hearing, the lawyer representing the city pointed out other businesses that are not opposed to the site, which include the current owner of the building and LBCC.

READ MORE: to allow for supervised consumption facility

LBCC said in a written statement it had no opposition to the site at 446 York Street.

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During the hearing, Kim Mullin, legal counsel for the Middlesex-London Health Unit and Region HIV Connection, argued that it would not bring drug users into the neighbourhood, which she argued is already publicly happening.

“Rather than create a public health concern, it will alleviate one,” she said.

Mullin added the site would help by reducing the number of discarded needles in the neighbourhood because they would be disposed at the site.

It is not known at this time when a final decision on the appeal will be handed down.

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