News

Houston Vetoes Halfway House Zoning Changes

Houston Vetoes Halfway House Zoning Changes

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

Springfield Mayor Mike Houston has vetoed zoning changes for two east-side halfway houses.

The city council approved the changes, which would have rezoned the facilities on south 11th and east Jackson streets to multi-family residential.

“Heaven forbid if any one of you had a relative that did something that created a situation where they were incarcerated, and they got out, and they had no place to go,” said Ward 2 Alderman Gail Simpson, who pushed hard for the zoning reclassification of the facility at 1322 S. 11th St.

Simpson, along with Ward 3 Alderman Doris Turner, contended this week and last month when the city council approved the changes, that those who use the facilities never bother anyone and, in the case of the south 11th street facility, people barely knew it existed. No service calls were recorded.

The mayor doesn’t buy that argument.

“It’s never a problem until you have a problem,” said Houston. “Up north, we had a major problem when someone committed a murder.”

The mayor’s referring to the House of Rainbow in Enos Park, which came under scrutiny shortly after that murder occurred in late 2012. Investigators found out it wasn’t zoned properly, hence, other halfway houses are getting the same scrutiny.

The mayor says he also vetoed the measures because they weren’t a good fit for the neighborhoods.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Coming soon: The Mustache Hall of Fame

burtreynolds

There are halls of fame for everything from baseball to rock 'n' roll, so why not those with a hairy upper lip?

in Music

Pink Floyd warns album ‘not for iTunes generation’

pinkfloyd

David Gilmour has warned the band's younger fans they might not enjoy the upcoming album.

in Entertainment

Inspiration for ‘Harry Potter’ nemesis revealed

harrypotter

J.K. Rowling says the much-hated character Dolores Umbridge is based on a teacher to whom she took an instant dislike.