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Huntersville Town Board Votes Tonight on Psych Hospital

http://66.225.205.104/JR20120305a.mp3

The Huntersville Town Board is scheduled to vote tonight on a zoning request that would allow construction of a new psychiatric hospital on Old Statesville Road. The proposal has sparked significant outcry from neighbors. Carolinas Healthcare System already has approval from the state to build a 66-bed hospital in Huntersville for people with psychiatric disorders. It will help ease overcrowding at CMC-Randolph where patients in need of mental health treatment are currently sent. CHS plans to build the hospital on land it already owns off Old Statesville Road, but needs town approval because the site must be rezoned. CHS is requesting zoning approval to have as many as 110 beds at the psychiatric hospital, in case the state allows future expansion. Last week, the Huntersville planning commission signed off on the plan. Tonight the full town board will vote. Some Huntersville residents worry patients wandering away from the mental hospital would be a danger to nearby neighborhoods. CHS has promised not to treat patients with sexual disorders at the hospital and will not offer methadone or detoxification treatment there. The Huntersville Town Board meeting begins tonight at 6:30.