Law would clarify how to measure 1,000 feet

Rep. Sal Esquivel

Rep. Sal Esquivel

Ever so often, a piece of legislation is required to correct a situation, even though it should never have been necessary in the first place.

On May 2, the Oregon House of Representatives passed House Bill 3434 on a unanimous 56-0 vote. I sponsored this bill in response to a specific issue in Medford.

A methadone clinic has been operating in town for several years now. In order for that to happen, the clinic was required to be licensed.

One of the conditions of that license was that a survey be conducted to verify that the facility is more than 1,000 feet from a school or preschool.

But it turns out that the clinic is still within that 1,000 foot limit, because an improper method was used to calculate the distance.

I called the state to ask why the license had been granted. The response I received was that the laws surrounding this were not specific enough.

This response was troubling to me, as there have been several court cases regarding similar matters.

HB 3434 was drafted to try and resolve the issue once and for all and further clarify the law.

The bill defines the phrase “within 1,000 feet” as a straight line measurement in radius extending 1,000 feet or less in every direction from a specified location or from a boundary line of the property.

A public hearing on this bill should be scheduled in the Senate fairly soon.

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