Mental health facility rezoning vote falls short

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — A majority of High Point City Council voted Monday to rezone the site of a proposed mental health facility to keep it from being built, but due to special rules, it was still two votes short.

Council voted 5-4 in favor of rezoning the site of the former Evergreens senior health care facility off Greensboro Road near Highway 311. The measure would have prevented Geo Care from building a mental health facility on the property.

However, the measure needed a three-fourths majority, or seven “yes” votes, to pass due to a “no” vote by city planners and a Geo Care support letter from the Guilford County Commission.

The meeting started around 5:30 p.m. and ended around 10:30 p.m. The five-hour discussion featured some debate that included the company’s past as well as the 185 proposed jobs.

“I feel that it’s a great company, that is considering working in the community and wants to partner with people in the community. They are a public service, so although they are privately owned, they are doing a public service,” said Charity Belton, who was against the rezoning.

“We felt like tonight’s rezoning was really more the appropriateness of the location for that facility. It’s certainly not that we have anything against Geo Care and what they do with mental patients and their need for care,” said David Couch, who was for the rezoning.

The state still has to award the contract to Geo Care for them to start to build, and company officials said they hope to hear a decision within a few weeks.