The Guilford County Behavioral Health Crisis Collaborative, a new mental health care system for Guilford County moved a step closer to becoming a reality at the Greensboro Zoning Commission meeting on Monday, June 17 in the Council Chamber.

Two mental health facilities one for adults and one for adolescents to be built on Third Street are the result of Guilford County, Cone Health and Sandhills Center working in partnership with a program designed to improve mental health care treatment in Guilford County.  It will be the first collaborative program of its kind in the state and the North Carolina legislature has an appropriation in the proposed budget to help with cost.

After a brief presentation by Brian Hall, Samet Corporation director of development, the Zoning Commission voted unanimously to rezone the property on Third Street from Conditional District Commercial High (CD-C-H) to Conditional District Commercial Medium, (CD-C-M).

The property north and south of the 5.3 acre tract that was rezoned are zoned CD-C-H.  The Police sub station across Maple Street is zoned light industrial, (LI).  Hall said that the city had suggested that the property be rezoned to CD-C-M which was why the request was made.

According to the planning department the reason for the rezoning was that social services facilities are not a permitted use in the CD-C-H district but are a permitted use in the CD-C-M.  The Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services building is directly north of this tract is zoned CD-C-H.

The difference according to Luke Carter with the Greensboro planning department is that the Health and Human Services Building is mainly an office building and the two mental health buildings will function as treatment centers, and have facilities for patients to stay overnight which is a different use according to the zoning ordinance.

The rezoning also allowed the property to shed a list of conditions that were put in place under the CD-C-H zoning most of which had to do with access such as providing turn lanes on Wendover Avenue and Yanceyville Streets.  Those improvements have already been made, so there was no need for them to be included in this rezoning request.

As to when construction might begin, the answer is as soon as the permitting process is completed and in Greensboro the permitting process historically takes an inordinately long amount of time.

A rezoning request for 3305 Yanceyville St. from Residential Single-family – 5 (R-5) to Conditional District – Residential Multi-family – 18 was passed 4-3 which means it goes to the City Council with a favorable recommendation.  But it was an unusual vote because the sole objection was from Ruth Closs who owns the adjacent property at 3301 Yanceyville. Closs’s main objection was that the property owner, Charles Overby, who planned to develop the property himself, did not cut the grass or maintain the house and shed on the property.

Judy Stadler, representing Overby, said that the house and shed had not been maintained recently because the plan was for those to be demolished and explained that the former tenant was supposed to keep the grass mowed.

The Zoning Commission took a five minute break to see if Overby and Closs could work out their differences with some additional conditions such as a fence.

No resolution was reached during the break and Closs said she didn’t have a problem with the development as long as it was properly maintained and the people living in the apartments didn’t’ make too much noise at night.

Zoning Commissioner Hugh Holston made a motion that the zoning request be denied that failed on a 3-4 vote and then a motion to approve the rezoning passed by the same 4-3 vote with Gene Lester, Janet Mazzurco, Zac Engle and Adam Marshall voting in favor and Holston, Marion Dansby-Byrd and Vernal Alford voting against.   Andrew Pinto and Donald Blackstock were absent.

Chair of the Zoning Commission Gene Lester speaking after the vote said he hoped the two parties would be able to reach an agreeable solution before the matter went to the City Council.