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July 10, 2013

Zoning change makes way for youth group home

NORMAN — The Norman City Council unanimously approved a full docket of business at Tuesday’s meeting then entered executive session. Missing was any hint of controversy between council members.

The closed-door session involved a consultation with the city attorney on employee group negotiations. Norman has unions for employees in and out of uniform. Which negotiations were under way was not specified.

Among items approved Tuesday night was a zoning change to allow a for-profit agency to operate a group home for disadvantaged and troubled youth. Similar facilities, including Varangon Academy and Alan Couch Center are located nearby.

COYSCO LLC requested the change of the Norman 2025 Land Use and Transportation Plan from Industrial Designation to Office Designation for property at 3530 MacDonnell Drive in the Northridge Industrial Park on Tecumseh Road between 12th Avenue Northwest and Flood Avenue.

The change will allow COYSCO to operate a “staff secure” treatment and counseling facility for adolescents. The Level E Group Home will serve juveniles in Department of Human Services custody, according to city staff notes.

“These youth will be adjudicated as neglected, deprived or in need of treatment to qualify for residence at the facility,” according to staff reports.

Clients will live on-site for a period of seven to nine months depending on progress through the program. Residents will receive counseling and will attend school on-site in partnership with Norman Public Schools.

The facility will be staffed by a director, program coordinator, counselor, cook, medical personnel and house parents on a 24-hour basis, “pursuant to DHS licensing standards,” according to staff reports.

The facility would support as many as 15 beds for male juveniles ages 13-17. The attorney for the applicant reported that parental rights have been terminated and parents do not show up at this facility, so there will be no parking issues.

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