Marietta grants permit for counseling services

A special land use permit for counseling services by Zion Baptist Church was approved Nov. 8 by the Marietta City Council.

Roosevelt Circle Project, 397 Roosevelt Circle on .29 acre, will open in a facility owned by Cobb County. The building was opened in 1996 as a 3,300-square-foot community health center but closed in 2010 and has been vacant since 2013.

By appointment, the Zion Counseling and Support Center will help individuals and families with mental health and social service needs, including mental, emotional, relational, vocational, social, financial, educational and spiritual challenges. The Rev. Eric M. Beckham, the church’s senior pastor, wrote in an Aug. 2 letter, “In order to provide services for low-income families, the center will seek to operate through contractual arrangements with appropriate agencies such as Child Protective services, Medicaid billing, grants and other funding sources.” He added, “The center will not discriminate against race, religion, color, ethnicity, sexuality, disability or economic status.”

The permit also was recommended for approval 7-0 by the city’s Planning Commission.

However, Marietta staff noted this use is not compatible with the city’s future land use plan since those served will not come just from the immediate neighborhood, according to Rusty Roth, director of the city’s Department of Development Services.