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State backs off from Charter North option for psychiatric hospital

Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- The state is withdrawing its attempt to purchase the Charter North Hospital as a replacement for the Alaska Psychiatric Institute.

Department of Health and Social Services Commissioner Karen Perdue said the state will look again at existing API property as the site to replace Alaska's only state-run psychiatric hospital.

''Deep-felt feelings by the neighborhood and community, the complexity of planning and zoning issues and the difficulty in resolving them make it impossible to close the deal with Charter within legal time constraints,'' Perdue said.

The state has notified Magellan Health Systems Inc., owner of Charter North, that the state could not obtain zoning approvals within the time allowed in the purchase agreement.

The Anchorage Planning and Zoning Commission opposed moving the API program to the Charter North facility.

Perdue said resolving the zoning issue would take six to nine months, with no guarantee of a successful outcome. She said the state would also need a conditional use permit, delaying a final resolution beyond terms of a purchase agreement with Magellan.

Perdue said the will reconsider building a new facility on the existing hospital site. The parcel, home to both API and McLaughlin Youth Center, is owned by the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority.



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