Fairview weighs plans for behaviorial health facility

Jan. 09, 2013 @ 07:38 PM

Some residents expressed concern about a proposed youth facility on Concord Highway near the intersection of Clontz Long Road in Fairview.

The town's planning board will hear a request for a conditional use permit for an immediate care institution for youth on Jan. 15.

According to the planning board's agenda, the request comes from Alfred Owens, the principal owner of Anderson Health Services Inc.

Owens would not comment on the proposed project until the planning board meeting Tuesday. The 20-acre proposed site is owned by E &T Foods, LLC.

According to an Anderson Health Services statement given to Fairview staff, the plans are for a secured residential treatment facility campus to provide behavioral health services to boys and girls ages 12 to 17 years old. The children have behavior challenges that make living at home with mothers and fathers whose parenting skills are inadequate, not practical.

Anderson Healthcare, Inc. teachs residents life skills they need to become disciplined as well as emotionally and physically healthy and law-abiding citizens equipped to succeed in life.

Greg Morgan learned about the proposal after his father was contacted by an Anderson Health Services representative. He and other members of his family live near the site being looked at for the facility. A few have since met and spoke with Owens and others about it.

He and his neighbors have concerns about the home, Morgan said.

"There's a lot of unknowns. My worry is that they come in and build the facility, devalue the property and then close it down," he said.

He also worried about the group home's security, if it will create noise and other issues if built.  Morgan said he understands that facilities like the one proposed are needed, but would feel better about it if a more better-known organization with a proven track record was building it further away from Morgan's home.

Despite speaking a little with Anderson representatives, neighbors do not know much about the organization making the request, Morgan said.

"I think it's not a good idea," said Carol Gordon, Morgan's aunt, who also lives near the proposed site.

She is also concerned that the home would make her home unsafe, especially with no buffer planned between the facility and neighboring houses. 

"It's not a good location for this facility," she said.

She said it should be built in a larger, more rural area instead of near residential development. Its construction could affect property values and quality of life in the area, she said.

"I'm very nervous about it," said Sue Myers, another of Morgan's aunts, who also lives near the proposed site.

She has similar thoughts as her family members and plans to attend the Tuesday planning board meeting with them.

"I want to see them (students the facility's modeled for) get help but not in the middle of a community without a police department," she said.

According to the request, the proposed Anderson Healthcare, Inc. in Fairview plans for six new single family homes, each over 3,400 square feet. There would also be a 13,000 square foot multipurpose administrative building, a yoga and fitness center, recreational complex with soccer/football fields, basketball and tennis courts, golf range, track field and baseball field. A gardening area and other therapeutic recreational resources are planned, according to the statement provided to the town.

A license from the N. C. Division of Facility Services is required to operate the facility. Organizers plan to get national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and endorsement by the Managed Care Organization/Local Management Entity (MCO/LME).

The facility would employ about 100, including security guards, maintenance workers, cafeteria workers, licensed social workers, psychiatrists, nurses, teachers, behaviorial councelors and other behavioral health workers.

The staff will treat youth with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), oppositional defiant disorder, emotional trauma, sexual victimization, conduct disorder, and attachment and abandonment issues.

Students would attend individual, group and family therapy sessions. A 24-hours security staff with a ration of 4:12 would closely monitor residents. Each home would be staffed and secured at all times and the students' movements restricted and controlled with locked doors, security cameras and close circuit television monitoring. Outside the residential area there would be outdoor fencing, locked gates and patrols by trained personnel and paid off-duty officers, according to Anderson Healthcare's statement.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at the town's fire department on Concord Highway.