Permit approved for facility housing individuals with substance-use disorders –

A special-use permit for an assisted living facility on Orchard Park Road for those with substance use disorders received unanimous approval Wednesday from the Henderson County Zoning Board of Adjustment.  

Craig Halford with First Contact Ministries, Inc. is the applicant for the proposal. Individuals housed at the facility will have gone through detox and will be substance free when they get on site, according to the special-use permit application, and no convicted sex offenders or violent criminals will be allowed. Residents will “undergo a rigorous screening process before being admitted.”  

A drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility falls within the Assisted Living Facility use in the Land Development Code, said Code Services Director and Zoning Administrator Matt Champion. 

The property, which is currently zoned Residential One, will not be altered from its current state. There will be no signs identifying the property as anything other than a residence. Residents of the facility will not be allowed off the property.  

The 10.56-acre parcel currently contains two residential structures, a barn and a detached garage. The residence at 53 Orchard Park Rd. is approximately 1,032 square-feet and was constructed in 1981. The other residence at 51 Orchard Park Rd. was built in 2003 and is approximately 3,175 square-feet. 

The surrounding properties contain residential and agricultural uses. Interstate 26 is located east of the subject area, and Henderson County’s Jackson Park is situated approximately .75 miles southwest.  

The applicant’s proposal includes converting the existing two residential structures into the assisted living facility. The major site plan does not show any new structures or improvements to the site. The applicant has indicated that a total of five to eight rooms will be utilized to house the future residents on the property, with approximately 15 to 20 individuals living at the facility, not including staff living and working on-site.  

Assisted living facilities are classified as residential and do not require buffering beyond screening the proposed solid waste collection facility. The subject area is also not required to provide additional parking, which would be required for commercial development.  

All existing utilities will be used with the exception of the septic system.  

The Technical Review Committee met on Feb. 1 and forwarded the application to the ZBA with the following conditions:  

  • A valid NCDOT driveway permit 
  • Improvements permit to upgrade the existing septic system 
  • Public water supply permit, provide ADA parking spaces 
  • Comply with state building code regulations regarding the change of use and occupancy 

The only condition placed on the project, outside of the conditions placed during the TRC meeting, was for the applicant to work with the one adjacent property owner at 69 Orchard Park Rd., according to Champion. 

“The applicant and adjacent property owner will come to an agreement within two weeks and provide written documentation as to what was agreed upon,” Champion said. “This will potentially be the installation of a new fence to secure the perimeter of the subject area or plant additional vegetation for screening purposes.” 

The site plan can be viewed on the code enforcement services section of the county’s website.