WHEATON – The president and CEO of Haymarket Center is voicing disappointment that the Wheaton City Council has decided putting a 16-bed inpatient addiction treatment center in the former Loyola University Medical Center building at 140 E. Loop Road is not an appropriate use for the district.
Following public opposition to the proposal, City Council members on Feb. 5 unanimously voted to direct Wheaton City Attorney James Knippen to draft an ordinance to deny Haymarket DuPage's application. Haymarket DuPage requested the council amend the city's zoning ordinance to add "residential (in-patient) treatment facilities" to the list of uses requiring a special-use permit in the C-5 Planned Commercial District.
“There is a strong need for substance use disorder treatment in DuPage County and we believe our proposal for a center in Wheaton would provide the comprehensive care that residents deserve in their own community," Haymarket Center President and CEO Dr. Dan Lustig said in a statement on Haymarket DuPage's Facebook page. "We are disappointed the Wheaton City Council is poised to deny Haymarket the zoning approval for a 16-bed inpatient unit, in a Danada East building that formerly housed medical offices."
Haymarket DuPage would be allowed to open an outpatient facility in the building. Lustig said Haymarket has not yet decided what it will do.
"We still retain the right to open an outpatient center at the same location, however we will take some time to consider all our options before determining next steps," he said.
Residents living near the proposed facility had voiced concerns the drug treatment center would increase crime in the area and reduce property values. Lustig said they have no reason to be fearful of the proposed drug treatment center.
"We have heard the concerns of residents but respectfully disagree with their fears about Haymarket Center DuPage patients," Lustig said. "The people affected by substance use disorders are neighbors, friends and relatives. They currently have few options for treatment without traveling far from their homes and support networks."
In his statement, he repeated the need for the facility.
"In 2017, DuPage County saw 95 opioid-related deaths and hundreds of people saved by the use of overdose-withdrawal drugs," Lustig said. "But without accessible, comprehensive behavioral healthcare, including medication-assisted treatment and counseling, many of those who were saved will overdose again. The need has never been more urgent."
Wheaton Planning and Zoning Board members on Jan. 23 unanimously recommended against granting the text amendment. As proposed, Haymarket DuPage would be run by the Chicago-based Haymarket Center, which has treatment facilities in Chicago and Waukegan.