FAIRFIELD TWP. – Community Health Alliance has dropped a rezoning request that would have allowed it to convert the New Life Vineyard Church into a residential treatment center for those with substance abuse and mental health issues.
The township’s zoning commission recommended against the matter last month following a lengthy public hearing on the rezoning request and preliminary plans for the site.
Trustees – who make the final decision – were to have reviewed the matter and held a second public hearing Oct. 23. That has been canceled.
“It was pretty clear at that meeting the committee – and public – didn’t understand the work we do,’’ said Scott Gehring, president and chief executive officer of the alliance.
“Obviously there’s some education that still needs to be done. We’re still committed to providing a service in the community.”
The alliance had proposed to build a 25,000 square foot addition to the 69,000 square foot church for an in-patient center with 120-160 beds. It would have allowed the non-profit to consolidate all of its residential treatment centers to one site.
Neighbors opposed the move citing lower property values, increase crime and first responder calls, increased traffic, and fear of clients and their visitors.
Gehring said Community Alliance has terminated its option to purchase the 13-acre church property on Princeton Road.
“We’re revisiting the plans and concepts and looking at other options.”
Besides the Princeton Road site, Gehring said Community Health Alliance was looking at other properties in Butler County but did not elaborate where those sites were.
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