Hundreds of residents packed into the Millsop Community Center on Tuesday night to hear from the Weirton Board of Zoning Appeals about a detox center coming to the area.
Many residents say that this is something that’s long overdue, however, the city and the zoning board said they want to make sure that everything is handled properly.
Weirton Resident James Keller has been fighting to get a detox center here for awhile – posting videos on social media, encouraging people to support the possibility of a facility that will help people struggling with addiction. “We have nothing here, so when someone gets in their mind ‘”I want to better myself,'” they go to get help and then they spend sometimes months a bed to go to to get cleaned out,” Keller said.
The center is located behind Kwik King off of Colliers Way in a newly developed area designated for medical purposes. Property owner Billy Pryor says he thinks it’s the perfect location and won’t effect any nearby neighborhoods that have expressed concern.. “It’s a nice location close to the hospital to be accessible to the doctors on short notice requested by Healthways, whose going to be our tenant,” said Pryor.
The West Virginia Real Estate Division requested a conditional use permit approval for the detox center. In the original application, the city classified the facility as a group home but the state’s definition does not match up to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance definitions – which is where the problem lies. Residents say they don’t know why it’s taking so long to find a classification, no matter what it is, Weirton still has an addiction problem and people need help.
The next step in the process will be a public meeting allowing residents of Weirton to voice their concerns.