Monday, September 25, 2017
Last Friday, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno testified to the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery in support of State Representative Carlos Gonzalez’s House Bill 3593, An Act to Prevent Over Saturation of Clinical or Educational Programs in Low Income Neighborhoods Under the Dover Amendment without Local Approval. The hearing was held at City Hall. This pertains to relative to substance use and alcohol addiction centers and clinics. Rep. Gonzalez will bring the Joint Committee on Mental Health to our City Hall, Room 220 this Friday, September 22, 2017 for a hearing from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Key to Rep. Gonzalez’s bill is that proper local approval must be given under land zoning use regulations and the legislative body of such city or town. Also, any person, organization, institution or corporation that purchases property within a city or town to be used for educational purposes pursuant to this section and who fails within two years to substantially improve such property shall be assessed at the property’s highest and best use at commercial rate for such property with no exemption.
Mayor Sarno states, “Rep. Gonzalez has heard my and our neighborhood’s cries that ‘enough is enough!’ Urban centers such as Springfield have done more than their fair share in dealing with these issues. As the Boston Federal Reserve Report of 2011 stated, ‘You cannot continue to concentrate poverty on top of poverty.’ This Dover Amendment has been a detriment to our Springfield neighborhoods many a times with not properly run programs, infringing on quality of life issues and ‘For Sale’ signs going up – it has to stop.”
"This legislation is in no way against the missions held by substance abuse programs, it simply aims to protect community members from oversaturated exposure to these facilities within their residential neighborhoods,” added Rep. Gonzalez.
More on HB 3593 can be found here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H3593.