Updated at 7:30 p.m. Thursday: Constitution Health Plaza has canceled plans to open the safe injection site at the South Philadelphia location.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Anger and outrage continue after some say they were ambushed by a planned supervised injection site in South Philadelphia. Local lawmakers are now looking into legal options in hopes to halt the site before it opens its doors.READ MORE: Bucks County Group Pushes For Mask Requirement As Country Sees Rise In COVID Cases
A day after Safehouse announced its plans to open the city’s first safe injection site at Constitution Health Plaza, Councilman David Oh proposed a bill that would deem any supervised site as a “nuisance health establishment” unless they meet public input requirements, including 90% approval of residents living within a one-mile radius of the facility.
A mandate like this would prevent another facility, such as Safehouse, to pop-up without prior notice.
“This was done very secretly,” Oh said. “I believe it was done intentionally so that the public could not have input.”
City Council President Darrell Clarke, who is against the injection site, says they have sat down with legal counsel. He agrees addiction is a disease, but it should be provided through a medical facility.
“I don’t understand how you’re going to help someone stop using drugs by enabling them to use them in a safe way or manner. We need to put more resources on the table,” Clarke said.READ MORE: Family Of Missing Bucks County Woman Casey Johnston Hires Private Investigator
Meanwhile, Mayor Jim Kenney posted news of the death of a 31-year-old man from a drug overdose on the 1900 block of South 15th Street, just around the corner from Safehouse’s future location. Kenney said the man’s death could have been prevented if Safehouse was available and one neighbor agrees.
“It’s a great start. I think it’ll save a lot of lives. Because no matter what you do, an addict is going to use unless you give them the proper care, and although some insurance companies cover, a lot of people don’t have insurance,” Jason Travis said.
A number of City Council members have rallied against the route Safehouse is taking to open, saying there has been a tremendous lack of transparency in dealing with the public.
U.S. Attorney William McSwain says his office is filing an appeal to request a stay of the district court’s approval to open, pending their federal court appeal to the Third Circuit.
The safe injection site could open as early as Monday, but sources say the request for more community input into Safehouse will likely delay next week’s tentative opening. Sources say Philadelphia city officials will require Safehouse to hold more community meetings before opening.MORE NEWS: 'It's Never Going To End': Loved Ones Of David Padro Jr. Voice Gun Violence Frustrations At 22-Year-Old's Vigil
South Philadelphia residents plan to protest this Sunday.