By CHRIS MORRIS
NEW ALBANY — The Floyd County Plan Commission unanimously approved a 12-month moratorium on the opening of new pain management clinics in the county. Georgetown will consider a moratorium of its own today in a special meeting.
During the moratorium, Floyd County Planner Don Lopp said a regulatory process would be put in place concerning pain management clinics that is defensible, should the measure be challenged in court.
Last month, the City of Jeffersonville forced a pain management clinic to shut its doors after the Indiana Medical Licensing Board suspended the license of Dr. Lea Marlow, who worked at the Clark County Wellness Center, 526 E. Maple St.
Gabrielle Owens, deputy director of the Attorney General’s Licensing Enforcement and Homeowner Protection Unit, said in a release last month that Marlow’s “prescribing practices are well outside the boundaries of what is considered safe and appropriate.”
According to the attorney general’s office, Marlow prescribed more than 8,000 prescriptions for 3,489 patients, with more than 95 percent receiving oxycodone.
While there are currently no pain management clinics in Floyd County, Charlotte Bass with the Floyd County Health Department said there are rumors that a doctor has been looking to open one along Grant Line Road or in Georgetown. New Albany already has an ordinance concerning pain management clinics.
Lopp said Floyd County had previously enforced a moratorium against adult businesses until an ordinance could be researched and written concerning regulations where such a business could locate.
“This is a proactive approach instead of a reactive approach,” said plan commission member Don Loughmiller.
Member Rebecca Gardenour said she was “excited” when she saw the moratorium on the agenda. She said pain medication, and the illegal use of such medication, tears families apart.
“This destroys families. [I support] anything we can do to be proactive and keep them out of our community,” she said.
Joseph Moore spoke during the public meeting and said some people depend on such clinics for pain medication because they do not have health insurance.
“I don’t know if you should take action on some rumor that a doctor is going to open a clinic in Floyd County,” he said. He said not everyone who goes to a pain clinic is an addict.
New McDonald’s approved
The plan commission unanimously approved a request to construct a McDonald’s restaurant at LaFollette Station in Floyds Knobs.
The McDonald’s will resemble the one in Clarksville and have 42 parking spaces and two drive-thru lanes. The front of the restaurant will face Lawrence Banet Road. Construction is scheduled to be completed in June, according to Lopp.
Lafayette Ridge extension denied
By an 8-1 vote, the plan commission denied a 12-month extension request of the primary approval for Lafayette Ridge Subdivision, located at Scottsville and Fertig Creek roads.
The development, which originally consisted of 227 lots on 127 acres, was given primary approval in 2006, but changes have since scaled the project back. Many members said it’s time for the developer, Robert Lynn, to scrap the plan and come back with a new one. There are new owners involved and the plan has changed.
“This does not exist the way it was approved. We cannot approve anything because it does not exist,” Loughmiller said.
“This is not the one we passed,” said plan commission member Chuck Freiberger when looking at the revised drawing. “I think time is up. I think it can still be developed, but as a new proposal. Let’s start at the beginning.”