Tigard News In Brief

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Tigard sticks with state psilocybin therapy regulations

In an open and closed non-hearing, Tigard City Council members accepted a planning commission recommendation to forgo adopting additional regulations to supplement newly ratified state rules for psychedelic-assisted therapy centers.

Oregon became the first state to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in psychedelic mushrooms, when voters greenlighted measure 109 in 2020.

Therapy centers can begin opening this month.

City Council had allotted time during a November meeting for a hearing to potentially buffer state rules with additional local regulation, but Tigard Senior Planner Schuyler Warren instead used the time to detail state rules, explaining that existing regulations addressing potential therapy center locations and licensing are sufficient.

“By unanimous vote, the planning commission chose to recommend that the city council not adopt any new regulations, and for this reason, we are not making a formal presentation of proposed code amendments,” Warren said.

Psilocybin-based guided therapy is currently being explored as a treatment for PTSD, depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health disorders.

Under state guidelines, therapy centers must be at least 1000 feet from schools and cannot be opened in residential areas. Facilitators must complete 120 hours of training and receive state licensure to administer the therapy.

“The Licensing process requires that the state must confirm these conditions are met,” Warren said. “The city is provided an opportunity to check the state’s work through the state’s land use compatibility process where an applicant must obtain a signed statement from the city that the facility is an allowed use in the zone where it is proposed.”

Retail sales are prohibited.

Oregon solidified regulations in a series of hearings ending last November.

Parking and trail access upgrades underway at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge

Work began in December to expand parking and upgrade sidewalk access to trails in the popular Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

The project, which is projected to be completed in the summer of 2023, will add parking spaces and a new school bus loading zone near the visitors’ centers. Parking and sidewalk access will remain open during the six-month construction period.

“Access is not expected to be impacted, though portions of the parking lot may be closed as necessary to accommodate work crew and equipment,” according to a press release.

Contractors are collaborating with Refuge managers to minimize the impact on vegetation in the work area. The new and upgraded sidewalks will use a combination of permeable surface pavers and pavement to help improve stormwater runoff. 

The 1,800-plus acre wetland and lowland sanctuary hosts educational programming throughout the year and is a popular spot for walking, birding, wildlife viewing, and photography.

The Refuge is located at 19255 SW Pacific Hwy in Sherwood

Tigard Man Sentenced to Prison for Drug Trafficking 

Cole Richard Killion of Tigard was sentenced to six years in federal prison last month after pleading guilty to trafficking fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine in the Metro area. 

Killion was arrested and indicted on drug and firearm charges in August 2021 after federal agents raided the Tigard family home he shared with his parents. He left the house carrying over 500 counterfeit oxycodone pills and other narcotics. Authorities discovered another 1,500 pills inside the home, including fentanyl, 187 grams of heroin, 345 grams of methamphetamine, and over 500 grams of cocaine, plus two firearms and ammunition. 

Homeland Security agents investigating a local fentanyl trafficking ring in March 2021 found inconsistencies between Killion’s legal earnings and his bank records, which showed 37 cash deposits and electronic transfers totaling about $56,000 in unexplained funds between December 2020 and February 2021. 

The investigation was a joint effort between Homeland Security and Westside Interagency Narcotics Task Force, which includes officers from the Washington County Sherriff’s Office and the Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Tigard Police Departments.

Mail Thief Sentenced to 10 Years

William Anthony McCormack, Jr., 40, of Washington County, was sentenced last month to 10 years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $5,500 in restitution to victims for using stolen bank checks and debit cards to defraud residents and intent to sell methamphetamine.

After initially pleading guilty to charges of bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, and the intent to distribute, McCormack escaped a drug treatment program where he was serving his sentence in March of 2021. McCormack had been a fugitive for more than a year when Tigard police arrested him last June.

Between June and September 2020, court documents showed, McCormack stole bank and community checks from residents’ mailboxes, mainly in Washington County. He used them to make illegal withdrawals from their bank accounts.

Tualatin police arrested McCormack during a Sept. 2020 traffic stop for speeding and driving with a suspended license. They found 30 small bags of methamphetamine and two 9mm handguns in McCormack’s car. Police discovered Driver’s licenses, U.S. Passports, and pieces of stolen mail in McCormack’s hotel room.

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