A screenshot from the livestream of the June 19 Indio City Council meeting.
The Indio City Council approved a temporary moratorium on new substance abuse treatment facilities at the June 19 meeting. (Screenshot/YouTube)

The Indio City Council last month adopted a temporary moratorium on the establishment of new substance abuse treatment facilities in the city.

“Essentially what we’re looking at here is…a potential attempt to exploit the city’s municipal code and the Highway 111 Specific Plan as it relates to the definition of one of the land use categories…to establish substance abuse treatment facilities in our regional commercial centers and other areas where that type of use does not appear, at least at the outset, to be compatible,” Steven Graham Pacifico, city attorney, said at the June 19 meeting.

According to the staff report, the temporary moratorium is necessary to prevent substance abuse treatment facilities from being established in the city without “appropriate regulation and study,” while providing city staff with the time to study the best location for these facilities.

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“I think the staff report and the ordinance is clear that the city recognizes the importance of substance use treatment facilities,” Graham Pacifico said. “However, placing them, for example, in any regional commercial shopping center may not be an appropriate location, and we do not have regulations in place to address specific offsite effects that we could incur because of these facilities.”

Graham Pacifico said the moratorium on substance abuse treatment facilities could also serve as an opportunity for the council to review regulations pertaining to other medical facilities within the city to see if the city could address any of those potential inconsistencies at the same time.

The moratorium has an initial period of 45 days with an option for the council to extend it by 22 months and 15 days, though Graham Pacifico said it was his expectation that city staff would come back before that time.

A full recording of the meeting can be found here on the city’s YouTube channel.

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