The Morristown Planning Department will review all of its policies and regulations concerning methadone and suboxone clinics after the Board of Zoning Appeals denied a business license to a Nashville-based recovery clinic, officials said Tuesday.
Planning Director Steve Neilson said City Administrator Tony Cox asked for the review of the codes after the zoning board shot down the request of ReVIDA Recovery Center, located on Bowman Street.
“It’s something that should be done every few years,” Neilson said of the review.
The review comes after the zoning board voted 6-1 to deny ReVIDA Recovery Centers a business license. The city planning department recommended denial, saying the city code states that a medical practice that distributes suboxone cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a church or residential zoning.
City planners said there are two churches and two homes within that zone.
ReVIDA Recovery Centers officials, though, maintain they do not distribute suboxone from their clinic and only write prescriptions. They said there are no drugs on the premises.
Lee Dillworth, CEO of ReVIDA Recovery Centers, said last week that ReVIDA will continue to try and get the situation resolved as soon as possible. The clinic helps more than 300 patients with opioid addiction.
“We will continue to work with the city,” Dillworth said.
Neilson said at this stage there is no appeals process through the Board of Zoning Appeals decision.
“The only appeal to the BZA is to go to Circuit or Chancery Court,” he said.
But after the review, the issue could possibly be raised again without a lawsuit. If changes to the code are recommended, the Morristown City Council would first have to vote on making those changes before the Board of Zoning Appeals could take it up, Neilson said.
ReVIDA Recovery Centers is still operating. While technically the business is operating against city code, the city does not plan on shutting down operations in the short term, Neilson said.
“They’re in violation of the code right now, and we’re going to put them on notice,” he said. “But, we’re not going to take any action until after 90 days.”