"It gives the community an opportunity to weigh in on what end use is going to take place in their neighborhood," he said. "I have a vision, a long-term vision, to try and revitalize a walkable foot-traffic kind of corridor."
Two proposed methadone clinics have been the subject of legal wrangling for years in Henon's district, including one on Frankford Avenue.
But some of the bill's critics, who include associations of Philadelphia doctors and dentists and the City Planning Commission, say it goes too far.
"There's a certain type of clinic that they're trying to restrict by using this broad brush," said Mark Austerberry, executive director of the Philadelphia County Medical Society. "Don't you want a doctor or a dentist in your back yard?"
Legal fees associated with applying for variances can cost thousands of dollars, which Austerberry said could be too steep for some doctors. "We're talking small practices - it's going to be an additional cost and burden on them," he said.
After little discussion, the City Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended disapproval of the measure. A staffer presenting the bill to the board said it appeared to be aimed at halting methadone clinics.
Pressed on whether that was the bill's intention, Henon was unspecific. "I want to make sure that we have increased foot traffic, that we have stores, we have local businesses, eateries, places where people can walk and feel safe," he said.
A staffer for O'Neill, who represents most of the Far Northeast, did not return a request for comment.
On Twitter: @SeanWalshDN