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 Local

No Gaming Revenues for Cities Without State Budget

Fresh
slot_machine

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office says the state doesn't have the authority to distribute video gambling profits to municipalities across the state.

in Local

Studying Ways to Trim the Prison Population

Updated
jail

Governor's goal: cut by 25 percent in ten years

in Local

Walker Campaigns Downstate

scott_walker

Accompanies LaHood, praises Rauner

in Local

Congress Could Consider Export Import Bank This Week

Generic WTAX

Illinois businesses, particularly manufacturers, are hopeful Congress will re-authorize the Export-Import Bank this week.

in Local

Regional Planning Commission Faces Funding Challenges

Springfield Sangamon County Regional Planning Commission

The commission has lost both state and federal funding.