Feds Pressure Baltimore For Drug Center Rezoning

For the third time, the city of Baltimore is considering a zone change that would allow live-in drug centers to be located in residential areas. Residents are opposed, but the Department of Justice has threatened to sue unless changes are made.

"Though the same bill has faced opposition from neighborhood groups in the past, Mayor Sheila Dixon's administration is under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice to loosen the city's zoning laws - which critics charge are used to limit the centers - or face a federal lawsuit."

"Supporters say the proposal would permit an expansion of desperately needed drug treatment options for a city that is among the most violent and addicted in the country. Others say the homes are poorly regulated and drive down property values."

"City Councilman Bernard C. "Jack" Young, a Democrat who represents portions of East Baltimore, said he believes the federal government has put undue pressure on the city at the same time that it has let the issue slide in suburban neighborhoods."

Full Story: Zoning rules revisited

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