Zoning OK sought for halfway house for mental-health patients|[01/08/07]

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 8, 2007

An apartment complex for people who have received treatment from the local mental health service is proposed for an area behind a South Frontage Road shopping center.

Separately, the owners of a Confederate Avenue home are asking that it be allowed to become a bed-and-breakfast inn and tour home.

Both cases go before the Vicksburg Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday.

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The apartments are to be built along Wisconsin Avenue near the former Sack & Save grocery store. They are to be managed by Warren-Yazoo Mental Health Service, which has offices nearby.

Donna Hardy, director of acute services, said 17 apartments are planned, all on one level.

A variance is being sought because plans call for 12 fewer parking spaces than would be required under code calculations. &#8220They would need 34 spaces but they only can provide 22,” said Dalton McCarty, zoning administrator.

The complex is to be built using a $1.2 million grant obtained through the Vicksburg Housing Authority. With the variance, construction may begin as early as late spring, Hardy said.

Hardy said the purpose of the complex will be to provide people who have received treatment for mental or emotional problems with transitional housing.

&#8220We do the best we can,” Hardy said. &#8220But the housing market is really kind of tough.”

The building would be the sixth for the mental health service in Vicksburg. The local headquarters is at 3444 Wisconsin Ave., less than one-half mile south of the apartment site.

The request for what is known as the Knox Home to become a bed-and-breakfast and tour home is from Cliff and Kilby Whitney, owners of the home at 2823 Confederate Ave., McCarty said.

Kilby Whitney said their plan is to begin with a one-room bed-and-breakfast with potential for up to four rooms.

&#8220It’s going to be a very small bed-and-breakfast,” Whitney said.

The home has been listed since 1990 on the National Register of Historic Homes, Whitney added. It was built in 1920 and is a classic example of a Tudor home.