Proposal to move East Bay methadone clinic stirs controversy

Byby Leslie Brinkley KGO logo
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Proposal to move East Bay methadone clinic stirs controversy
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The proposal to move an East Bay methadone clinic from Richmond to El Sobrante is causing controversy as many plan to protest.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- A proposal to move an East Bay methadone clinic is causing controversy. The clinic is currently located on Cutting Boulevard in Richmond but is planning to move to San Pablo Dam Road in neighboring El Sobrante.

The methadone treatment center on Cutting Boulevard in Richmond now services 200 clients. BAART programs, that owns and operates the clinic, says they want to move to a larger facility with a bigger waiting room on San Pablo Dam Road -- a location on a narrow strip of land technically in the city of Richmond but bordered on three sides by El Sobrante, an unincorporated area that neighbors say doesn't have a police department to help them out.

Neighbor Greta Fletcher has been digging into Richmond police records. She claims there are four calls a week complaining of crime like assaults and thefts. The methadone clinic say the stats reflect the neighborhood not the clinic .

She said, "I worry the drug dealers I've seen down there will start to appear on my street to service their clients."

Neighbor Dovie Huston said a methadone clinic would be bad for her business and fears she might lose clients.

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt's office says the city has had no role in the relocation proposal. But they will eventually have to decide whether they issue a land-use permit for the new location.

County supervisor John Gioia was unavailable for an in-person interview but said he's preparing a response to advocate for those in El Sobrante who oppose the clinic. Residents are planning a protest tomorrow at Richmond City Hall and a second protest the following weekend along San Pablo Dam Rd.