Moratorium on Outpatient Substance Abuse Clinics Statement

Published on April 20, 2023

A message from Mayor Christine Frizzell 

You may have heard in the news this week about the City’s moratorium on the siting of new outpatient substance abuse clinics. I want to take a moment to provide context and a little more information about the process and our decision to move forward with this moratorium.    

Last weekend, I put into motion the process to hold a special business meeting on Monday, April 17, ahead of the regularly scheduled City Council work session, to propose an emergency ordinance for a six-month moratorium on the acceptance of substance abuse clinic permit applications. On Monday, the City Council was briefed by our Development & Business Services Director and Community Planning Manager on the research and efforts, already underway by our staff, to evaluate the current code to and consider what revisions may be warranted for the siting of outpatient substance abuse clinics. The ordinance passed and went into effect immediately.     

Our Development & Business Services team has and will continue to work and research diligently to evaluate their current processes and report their findings to our City Council. In accordance with the emergency moratorium, we will have a public hearing within 60 days to hear from our community.   

Snohomish County continues to be an epicenter of the opioid crisis. Providing equitable access to medically assisted treatment is vital in combating this crisis; these facilities play an essential role. I want to make clear that this isn’t a ban on these facilities but a moment to pause, evaluate and improve the City of Lynnwood’s code and processes. We want to ensure that treatment facilities are in appropriate locations and create the most therapeutic environment for those seeking care while balancing the concerns we've heard from the community. 

We will continue to keep you updated as this process progresses. For now, we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to find a solution that yields a positive outcome for the community, future facilities, and the community members who need this treatment. 

Thank you. 

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