Heart of the Westside Residents Deserve Better
Heart of the Westside Neighborhood Association residents are up in arms at the lack of enforcement action by the city and feel ignored by the local media. At issue is the use of the Christian Foundation, 2112 W. Division as an illegal homeless shelter. From their minutes dated March 16, 2006:
Price Brown, president of the Foundation was notified by letter dated Dec.28, 2005, that the city denied the request for a permit for an emergency shelter in the building; the letter stated the illegal use should cease immediately. The Christian Foundation filed an appeal and continued to house homeless men in the building. The appeal hearing was held Mar. 7, and the board denied the appeal. The city then gave the foundation 30 days to remove the men from the building or appeal their decision in Greene County Circuit Court.
The foundation has not appealled in ciruit court. The neighborhood group is disappointed that the deadline passed without enforcement by the city. The residents are now considering other options, such as suing the City.
An interview with a close neighbor of the Foundation reveals the use of 2 other buildings adjacent to the Foundations thrift store for illegal homeless shelter and “yard sale” style marketing of donated items. This homeowner observed what amounted to an outdoor market of used articles that went on for months on end. Additionally, a semi truck trailer can be seen parked on residential use property.
Residents deserve better from the City and the Foundation. Both entities should respect their neighbors: The Foundation needs to become a better neighbor and refrain from activities that blight the neighborhood, like ongoing “yard sale” style marketing, and illegal property uses. The City needs to follow through on enforcement immediately—these citizens acted in good faith that the City would, and are sorely disappointed at the foot dragging of city enforcement officials. It’s now two weeks past the 30 days given to the Foundation to comply. Let’s not make it two months----or years.