Second business drops out of lawsuit against The Healing Place treatment center

Second business drops out of lawsuit against The Healing Place treatment center
GF Default - Wilmington City Council meeting Tuesday night

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The second of two medical facilities that sued over The Healing Place, a controversial planned treatment center on Medical Center Drive, has dismissed all its claims against the City of Wilmington, City Council, New Hanover County, IS Design and Trillium Health Resources.

“We’re grateful that we’ve reached a compromise that honors our initial concerns related to the safety and security of our patients, families, and employees,” said Gwen Whitley, president and CEO of Lower Cape Fear Hospice.

“We have a duty to protect the unique, peaceful environment on which our community chose to build a hospice care center, but have always recognized the need to be part of the solution that addresses our community’s opioid crisis. This is why we ultimately decided to withdraw our appeal,” said Whitley.

Last month, Delaney at MCD, LLC filed a voluntary dismissal notice that it was dropping out of the case.

The two businesses filed a petition for a Writ of Certiorari and judicial review in late March, essentially challenging Wilmington City Council’s approval of a special use permit to construct the treatment center.

That move was met with sharp criticism from members of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, who along with Trillium proposed the project.

The treatment center – which plans to provide male patients with a stair-step substance abuse recovery program along with a residency component – faced backlash throughout the government review process. Complaints mostly centered around the facility’s proximity to businesses that house narcotics and other medications.

“We are poor in resources when it comes to mental health solutions as well as substance use facilities that provide services to our residents,” New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Jonathan Barfield previously said. "Something that could delay people getting the help they need by months or even years and for every death that happens because they couldn’t get treatment, I say shame on them.”

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