Lynnwood City Council passes moratorium on new substance use disorder clinics

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The city of Lynnwood has issued a temporary ban on new substance abuse clinics.

Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell says the moratorium is in response to the new Acadia Healthcare opioid treatment clinic that opened just three months ago.

Not only is the clinic down the street from a Boys and Girls Club, but Frizzell said Acadia was not transparent and only planned on informing the city about the facility once plans were a done deal.

“We don’t want to have the same missteps that we had with Acadia. Acadia did not do their due diligence with Department of Health guidelines, they did not connect with the city,” said Frizzell.

During Monday night’s meeting, Frizzell said she recently became aware of a new application for another clinic with a different company and said the application was similar to the one they received from Acadia.

Several residents who are against the temporary ban spoke up during the meeting.

“Drug abuse is a Lynnwood issue. It’s not a Seattle problem, it’s a Lynnwood issue. It’s happening in every community and I think it’s important to have that mindset to take ownership of helping to solve the problem,” a resident said.

The moratorium passed with a 5 to 1 vote. Frizzell says this essentially gives the city time to review the rules and regulations that are in place now and change them. She says the city needs to look at locations and get community input when it comes to these facilities.

Wendy Violet, whose kids go to the Boys and Girls Club, says this is a good approach.

“It felt like when this one moved in, it was really quick, and all of a sudden everyone was like, ‘Wait, we didn’t hear anything about it before they did.’ They were just like, ‘Oh we’re opening,’ and I was alarmed because I just started taking my son here,” said Violet.

However, Violet does have one concern.

“I hope they don’t just use the ban to completely block it out, because we obviously need them,” said Violet.

The emergency ordinance is just for six months, but could be extended a full year. The city must now hold a public hearing within 60 days.