good letter to editor The Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board is considering petitions for special exceptions to allow two new methadone treatment facilities to open in the county. There is some debate about the pros and cons of such facilities. My concern isnít whether theyíre needed or not, it is with the two locations being considered. First, these facilities are visited by hundreds of patients each day. The access off Route 119 to either of them is simply not adequate to handle this kind of significant congestion without major upgrades to the road system. Dangerous backups are inevitable. Has PennDOT been contacted for its input? In addition, the county parking codes for the number of parking spaces required at these facilities may or may not be met, but in reality neither can handle this volume of usage. Cars will be lined up in areas not designed for parking, creating roadblocks and safety issues for both the private and heavy industrial traffic that use the University Drive intersection. This headache is a fact at other similar facilities. Second, both locations are in easy walking distance to the Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, one being a mere 300 feet away. Although zoning regulations do not prohibit such facilities being near Penn State, is it really the best place to have them so near our premier post-secondary school, which is a daily home to hundreds of young, impressionable adults? Do we want the families that constantly visit the campus to see if itís a fit for their college-bound students to be greeted with the proximity of these facilities? Do we want the hundreds if not thousands of our high school age and younger students who use the campus facilities throughout the year to be exposed to this environment? Third, one of the locations is in a business park designed for high-tech companies. How do you think the efforts to attract new job-creating businesses to that park will be impacted when companies consider who their next-door neighbors will be? Iím certain there are numerous, other locations around Fayette County that make more sense to establish these facilities. Places where access, parking, and the surrounding population and businesses are more compatible. Have the owners of the proposed facilities done any due diligence to find more suitable locations? If the organizations wanting to establish these treatment facilities can answer my concerns and questions, Iíd like to see hard data and facts supporting their claims, not their opinion and conjecture. What evidence do you have that traffic and parking will be manageable in these locations? What evidence do you have that there will not be a negative impact to Penn State? What evidence do you have that businesses wonít be deterred from locating next to your treatment facilities? Iím willing to listen, but donít whitewash the truth for your desire to make a buck from some poor individuals who have made some mistakes and experienced misfortune. I encourage anyone feeling the same to attend the zoning hearing meetings on Aug. 17 and Aug. 24 to add your voice. At the very least contact your political representatives, especially the county commissioners, and let them know how you feel. Time is of the essence. And please, can the Zoning Hearing Board itself realize that granting these exceptions for these petitions without ensuring these questions and concerns are properly addressed with evidence is a slap in the face to the residents of Fayette County? Dan Gearing is a resident of Mount Braddock.