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November 6, 2012

Pain management restrictions approved for Jeffersonville

Communications director position moved again

JEFFERSONVILLE — Restrictions allowing pain management clinics to locate in Jeffersonville passed on their final readings Monday night.

The Jeffersonville City Council passed two measures that will restrict where the clinics that offer pain prescriptions to patients can locate, limiting the businesses to industrial zones and keeping them from locating within 1,000 feet of a place of worship, a school, public park or the boundary of a residential district. The restrictions also limited the distance two pain management clinics are allowed to locate between one another.

Additional zoning restrictions were in response to Clark County Wellness, LLC, which opened a location along Maple Street in July in a residential neighborhood.

Despite the contentious nature surrounding the clinic located in the Franklin Commons neighborhood, no one spoke for or against the additional restrictions at the public hearing held during the council meeting. And even with the additional restrictions passed Monday, the changes will not impact Clark County Wellness.

“They’re grandfathered in,” said City Attorney Les Merkley.

He said as long as the pain clinic doesn’t expand and as long as it stays open continuously, the new restrictions passed will have no affect on the business.

While tougher restrictions were being drafted, the city council passed a moratorium from pain management clinics locating in the city. The moratorium is set to run out in early January.

The first ordinance approved was an amendment to the city’s zoning code — 2000-OR-61 — that allows pain management clinics to locate only in I-2, industrial zones. The city’s planning commission offered a favorable recommendation for the ordinance that passed unanimously on its second and third readings. Council members Matt Owen and Connie Sellers were absent from the meeting.

The second ordinance offered the additional limitations, restricting the clinics to 1,000 feet of the various businesses. The ordinance unanimously passed on all three readings.

“Obviously, we’re not banning pain management clinics, but we are basically saying where they are going to be located and at the end of the day we’ve got an ordinance that reflects the best interest of the citizens,” Merkley said.

Councilman Mike Smith offered his thanks to Merkley and the council moving quickly on approving the restrictions.

“The council, we moved as fast as we possibly could, especially with the moratorium that we set in place three or four months ago,” he said. “And now with this, I think it’s really going to help all of the city’s districts, not just the [districts] in downtown.”

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