LYNNWOOD — The Lynnwood City Council is unanimously against the location of a new opioid treatment center, though the council and public outcry may not be able to stop it from opening next door to two gathering places for children.
Still, on Monday night, City Council President George Hurst urged distressed parents and residents to send emails and write letters to the state Department of Health immediately, in a last-ditch effort to postpone the open date of Jan. 23.
Acadia Healthcare is set to dispense methadone, a treatment for opioid withdrawal, to 300 patients. They anticipate 200 of those patients to commute daily from the Bothell area to the new location at 2322 196th St. SW in Lynnwood.
The Alderwood Boys and Girls club and the Lynnwood Little League fields will be within a short walk of the opioid center, and parents have safety concerns. Protesters with picket signs filled seats at Lynnwood City Council’s meeting on Monday night, mirroring last week’s meeting.
Proponents of the treatment center have said it’s desperately needed, part of the solution for combating a longstanding opioid crisis that has hit Snohomish County especially hard.
Alderwood Little League’s President Nick Wexler said 300 to 400 children will regularly come to the Little League fields — just 200 feet from where the opioid center is set to open — between March and October.
“This is not indoors, like a school, where we could ensure who’s coming in through the doors, check badges or check identification,” Wexler said. “We don’t have that opportunity in an open facility. These are major concerns, for me as the president, trying to ensure the safety of our kids.”
The proximity of hundreds of children, the lack of proper infrastructure and the lack of a nearby bus line are all reasons to change the location, protesters argued during public comment.
“It’s about the fact that we’re 400 feet away — a 60-second walk,” said Ken Salem, the director of development for Boys and Girls Club of Snohomish County. “And I can tell you right now there is not room for 300 more cars to park.”
Until late December, no one on the Lynnwood City Council said they knew that the opioid center was set to open in January. Acadia has been working with Lynnwood’s city planning department since March 2022.
Acadia finished its final inspections by Dec. 14 and received the certificate of occupancy from the city on Dec. 19.
After those final steps, the state Department of Health hosted a public hearing at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 29 — a Thursday evening during the winter holidays.
“It was a deliberate attempt to tamp down public comment,” Hurst said. “Please contact the state Department of Health.”
Hurst directed people to email Michelle Weatherly at the state health department via firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an interview, Hurst said that the department of health has yet to issue the methadone operating license to Acadia, a final step in opening the facility. He hopes that enough outcry — written letters and emails — could halt the process.
Kayla J. Dunn: 425-339-3449; email@example.com; Twitter: @KaylaJ_Dunn.
Talk to us
- You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 425-339-3428.
- If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to email@example.com or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
- More contact information is here.