West Chester, doctor settle lawsuit over proposed drug rehab clinic

A lawsuit between West Chester Twp. and a doctor seeking to establish a proposed drug rehab clinic there has been settled.

Following notification the settlement, U.S. District Judge Timothy Black on Tuesday dismissed the case with the stipulation that either party could reopen the case within 60 days if the settlement isn’t finalized.

The two sides had been scheduled to appear in court for a Dec. 15 hearing.

Dr. Mohamed Aziz proposed a 35,740-square-foot, in-patient and out-patient facility for a former nursing home on U.S. 42 directly across the street from the Pisgah Youth Organization ball fields, next door to the Hickory Dickory Tots daycare and in front of a residential neighborhood.

But in April, West Chester Twp. enacted an 8-month moratorium on all new zoning certificates and approvals for drug treatment facilities. Trustees defended their action, saying they wanted to study the impact the facilities have on communities surrounding them.

For months, trustees listened to dozens of people speak out about how locating a drug rehab center in the facility would be harmful. They conceded drug addicts need the help Aziz can provide, but said they find the location troubling.

Aziz sued the township in federal court in September after the township's moratorium blocked him from building the new facility.

Aziz, in the lawsuit, claimed the township denied his drug- and alcohol-addicted clients — people who are considered disabled under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act — services when the township placed a temporary moratorium on drug rehab facilities.

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