Request of People Inc. approved by Coon Rapids

People Incorporated plans to expand its Riverwind residential mental health treatment facility in Coon Rapids.

The St. Paul-based agency has received conditional use permit approval from the Coon Rapids Planning Commission to increase the number of clients served at its residential facility at 2708 119th Ave. N.W., from six to eight.

According to Planner Scott Harlicker, a state licensed residential facility for six or fewer residents is a permitted use in a low density residential-two zoning district.

Residential facilities serving seven or more persons require a conditional use permit, Harlicker wrote in his report to the commission.

At the Coon Rapids facility, People Incorporated provides short-term residential health crisis care to adults with a diagnosed mental illness, according to information presented to the commission.

Residents may also have other behavioral problems and/or chemical abuse or dependency issues.

The length of stay ranges from one to 10 days with an average stay of from three to five days, but four of the beds are designated for extended care for up to 30 days.

The treatment facility has four full-time staff during the day (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with two staff persons in the evening and on weekends.

According to Harlicker, there have been no police complaints over the years at the facility, only some parking issues.

But in his report to the commission, Harlicker wrote that with the expansion, the number of staff will be reduced because two offices used by another service group are being remodeled into bedrooms and staff using those offices will be moved to another location.

“There is sufficient room in the driveway to accommodate four cars, which is the peak number of staff on site during the week,” he wrote.

Residents at the treatment facility are not allowed to have a vehicle, according to information presented to the commission.

Commission approval was conditioned on all necessary building permits being obtained for remodeling and all staff must park in the driveway.

People Incorporated Mental Health Services is a Twin Cities-based nonprofit providing a spectrum of services through more than 50 programs in the greater metro area.

Peter Bodley is at