By Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Planning and Zoning Commission, at its Feb. 6 meeting, recommended that Groveport City Council not approve a requested zoning use variance for a counseling center on Blacklick Street.
Groveport Investments LLC has requested a zoning variance from the city to allow office use for mental health counseling for the property at 540 Blacklick St., which is zoned residential.
Per the city of Groveport’s codified ordinances, council cannot hear a second reading of the proposed legislation until at least 10 days after the Planning and Zoning Commission makes a recommendation.
“The second reading will occur during the Feb. 27 city council meeting,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King. “The public hearing and third reading (where council could vote on the legislation) will occur during the March 13 council meeting.”
The building is currently being used by an HVAC company for offices and warehousing. The variance requests states the building would be used by seven to nine counselors/administrative staff from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for outpatient mental health treatment and group therapy. There would be no drug administration nor any external visitors to the facility, just staff and patients in treatment.
In a letter to city officials, the applicants state their mental health counseling company treats substance use disorder, depression, and anxiety. They state the hope is to open a women’s program at the site with an all female staff citing that the area is underserved for such services. The letter further states the business has operated in Groveport and began with six employees but that number has grown to almost 50. The 540 Blacklick St. site would be a secondary location with seven to nine employees. There’s a mental health office on Main Street that has been there four years.
“We believe our neighborhood impact would be minimal compared to the previous variance use given for the HVAC company that had more than a dozen employees with numerous delivery trucks utilizing tow motors and heavy equipment during the day,” wrote the applicants in their letter.
Please note that groveport has a mental health office on main street. We have been here for 4 years