July 18, 2018

Treatment center denied by planning and zoning commission

By Betsy Ryan
Farmer Staff Writer

The request for a zoning change allowing Summit Counseling to re-purpose a large workforce housing building southwest of Alexander into a substance abuse treatment center was turned down by the McKenzie County Planning and Zoning Commission last week.
Summit Counseling’s meeting with the planning and zoning commission was their second stop before going before the Board of County Commissioners on July 24 for a final decision. The request for the zoning change was unanimously voted against by the three-member Alex Township Board just a week earlier.
The two recommendations to deny the zoning change request will be presented to the county commissioners at their next meeting and then the commissioners will make the final decision on the center.
“We were devastated by the decision,” said Summit Counseling Director of Operations George Owen. “We were led to believe that we had a chance and that people on the commission were supporting us.”
County Commissioner Gene Veeder, who sits on the planning and zoning commission, said that the decision to deny the zoning change from agricultural land to a planned use development was largely made to uphold the opinion of the Alex Township Board.

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