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Life and Purpose Behavioral Health looks to expand

Doug Pfeifer, CEO of Life and Purpose Behavioral Health, explains to Marietta City Council Thursday the vision for a potential zoning change request in redeveloping a lot formerly occupied by North Hills Elementary School. (Photo by Janelle Patterson)

Life and Purpose Behavioral Health has eyes on the former North Hills Elementary School lot with the hopes of building a new facility.

Doug Pfeifer, CEO of the behavioral health firm based just over the hill on Colegate Drive explained to Marietta City Council’s Planning, Zoning, Annexation and Housing Committee Thursday that the firm has outgrown its current facility, with less than 9,000 square feet but more than 60 employees serving clients for mental health and addiction services.

“We’ve been at 207 Colegate (Drive) since 2005, [but] two or three years ago our landlord passed away and now it’s in the estate of that,” said Pfeifer. “We’re very limited in our current property so our ability to expand and meet the needs of the community is difficult … we’ve looked at a number of different options and North Hills looks to be beneficial for the community and our clients.”

The prospective site, now a vacant grass lot, was the former home of the North Hills Elementary School with the address of 1099 Colegate Drive.

The school closed in 2003 as part of the reorganization of Marietta City Schools as the district adapted to declining student enrollment.

The building was demolished in 2013, after Brunton Development Co. Ltd. purchased the property the year prior.

But the property is zoned as an R-1 residential area.

In attending Thursday with Pfeifer, the architecture and design firm Sixmo, Inc. which is working with Life and Purpose to locate a site and design the firm’s new space, expressed the desire to change the lot’s zoning to match the hospital-medical zone across the street where Selby Hospital is part of the Memorial Health System.

The interest is in an early stage, without a formal proposal or petition for a zoning change, but allowed for added advocacy Thursday for the planning and sequence effort, on which Chairman Geoff Schenkel proposed that the committee work with City Law Director Paul Bertram, the city engineering office and city planning commission to map out a series of steps for petitioners to follow when requesting any zoning change.

The committee also confirmed with Bertram Thursday that the city is liable to complete and pay for an easement survey as the next step in a years-long stormwater property damage dispute with a resident of the Fourth Ward.

A financial transfer is to be placed on the agenda for Monday’s Finance Committee meeting to discuss how the city will pay for that survey.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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