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Thread: Transitional treatment centers

  1. #1
    Feb 2004

    Transitional treatment centers

    I have a project that is defined by our ordiannce as a halfway house and by the state as a nonsecure correctional facility. The use is a conditional use, but conditional uses, under state statute, must be approved unless the impacts cannot be reasonably mitigated. State case law has basically stated that impact must be "demonstratable" (sp?).

    The site is in a commercial district on a triangular piece of property with an interstate on one side, a frontage road on one, and railraod tracks on theother. The proposed facility could potentially house up to 522 "residents", all of which have violated their paroles and have been incarcerated at some point in time prior to being moved to this facility. There undoubtably will be some residents who are being treated for drug/alcohol abuse and are likely somewhat protected under the fair housing act, unless these types of facilities are exempt from it due them being contracted by the State Department of Corrections and the associated crimes that they have committed. The area where it is proposed has seen some very high profile crimes and is proliferated with gangs and gang activity.

    Given the location, I do not really see much impact from this facility, but know there will be a ton of public outcry, press coverage, and pressure from the elected to find a way to deny this project. has anyone had any experiences with successfully overcoming the NIMBYism that is bound to occur or know of resources on how to do this.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
    Nov 2002
    Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve

    some thoughts....

    Develop a list of the uses permitted by zoning for that property that could have a heavier neighborhood and community impact, and have that ready for distribution once the opposition begins.

    Research other communities in your state with similar uses. What have been the demonstrable impacts elsewhere? Does the location in your community in any way mitigate such possible impacts?

    Find out where the local clergy stand on the proposal. They can be very influential in shaping public opinion. Will clergy have a role in the client programming or activities?

    Make a list of worse locations for such a use in your community.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Richi's avatar
    Jan 2008
    Tallahassee, FL
    Appears that you have state law on your side as well. If the operators of the facility or the property owner have a financial interest in seeing the project approved, might they not appeal a denial? In that case the commission/board might well have to demonstrate the unmitigated impact. That might well be difficult. How far to the nearest residence...in a bee line and via the shortest reasonable walking route?

    If a site plan is available you might overcome some objection by using it to show buffers & fences. Also you might show "compatability" to nearby uses via a map with photos keyed to the adjacent parcels.

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