Major landlord opposes planned supervised consumption facility location
Adrienne South, CTV London
Published Thursday, December 6, 2018 6:36PM EST
One of the region's biggest landlords is opposing the chosen location for London's first supervised drug consumption facility ahead of a public meeting on Monday.
Drewlo Holdings has written a letter to the planning committee addressing concerns over the rezoning.
In their letter they state, "We feel the zoning change is premature and that the proposed facility is not compatible with surrounding uses...Supervised Consumption Facilities are to be sited in a location that is 'within close proximity to, or near communities where drug consumption is prevalent.'"
Drewlo outlines that the York Street location isn’t very close to the hot spot areas for discarded needles mapped out by the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
Dennis Krogman, who owns an auto dealership next to the proposed site at 446 York Street, said the neighbourhood is rallying together to try and ensure the site doesn’t move forward, citing concerns over the proximity to H.B. Beal Secondary School, with the playing field just 70 foot steps away.
"There's a lot of letters in support of not having this site due to the fact of the high density, the busy streets, the schools...the neighbourhood is not happy at all."
He also raises concerns over the number of nearby highrises and apartment buildings on Burwell and King Streets.
There are currently 25 letters included in the city’s planning meeting agenda - some in favour of the site, and some like Drewlo’s against it.
Brian Lester, executive director of the Regional HIV Aids Connection disputes Drewlo’s interpretation of the hot spot map and says needles were also found around the proposed site and it is central to the three hot spots for discarded needles and injecting.
"What we anticipate is that by providing that service we draw all of that public injecting into the facility rather than into the public realm and we will see a marked reduction in discarded equipment," he says.
He believes it will have a positive impact on the area and said that no matter where the site is there will be concerns.
"I'm hoping that if we meet 90 per cent of the paramaters that people will see that this has been a well thought-out process...and this meets much of the criteria,” Lester says.
"I think it's important to know that service providers are really committeed to working with community to address those concerns"