Dothan Zoning Board Hears Arguments for Exception on Transitional Housing

By: WTVY News 4
By: WTVY News 4
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UPDATE: A proposed women's restoration facility causes a bit of turmoil in one community.

Over an hour long, back and forth debate has led to a denied motion for a women's center, proposed by the T.O.P.S organization.

Neighbors say, they are pleased with the decision.

The community surrounding the 1500 block of Denton road showed up in force at Wednesday's Dothan Zoning Board meeting.

They were protesting a proposed women's restoration center.

"Our children have grow up with freedom to walk the neighborhood, to swim in the pool, to get on the school buses and to ride their bikes and we felt like if this home was introduced in our community, our protection and our safety would be compromised a little bit, " says neighbor Patricia Arute.

The housing project was being pushed by The Ordinary Peoples Society, or T.O.P.S.

"It would be a restoration house for women that went through domestic violence, homeless, coming in and out of prison and work release and stuff like that " says T.O.P.S founder, Pastor Kenneth Glasgow.

Board members unanimously voted the motion down after a more than one hour long debate.

"We are very thankful that the commission has agreed this is not the proper location and we are hoping a proper location will be found for this type of facility, " says Arute.

Neighbors say this house is not the ideal location for the woman's restoration center but T.O.P.S officials say they wanted it in a community where the women would be inspired to live another life.

"We wanted it to be in an area that would be uplifting to the residents, that they would able to see the neighbors and see the productive citizens around them and it would inspire them and encourage them and influence them to be more productive themselves," says Glasgow.

"I was disappointed. This was a good situation and the building fit the need and the economics of it made sense since I was donating the building, " says property owner of the proposed restoration house, Curtis Poland.

Neighbors say they're not against the idea of the house, just the location.

"We admire the organization and the idea of putting a transitional home for the community, a residential, single family dwelling neighborhood is not the correct place for it, " says Arute.

"Since the community does not want battered women, women and children who need help and women coming out of prison programs to restore their lives in their neighborhood, would they give donations and contributions to us to help find another place to help these women," says Glasgow.

T.O.P.S has 15 days to appeal the Board of Zoning Adjustments decision.

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The Dothan Zoning Board met on Wednesday morning to request approval of a special exception for transitional housing.

WTVY attended the meeting and reports that the board listened to a representative from TOPS explain why approving a traditional house for women is necessary because it is a “safety net”. Surrounding neighbors oppose idea due to traffic and unknown people in their area.

Tune in to WTVY News 4 tonight and WRGX at 5:30 p.m. for a full report.


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