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Hamilton proposes one year moratorium on transitional housing to include boarding

Tuesday May 6, 2014

For Immediate Release:
Democratic Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137 / 526-3622

Louisville – Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5) is sponsoring an ordinance that calls for a temporary moratorium on approval of any further transitional housing in areas of District 5 which has become a concern for residents in the Shawnee and Chickasaw area neighborhoods.

“The issue of transitional housing in these historic residential areas has not been fully reviewed with regard to zoning and the issuance of conditional use permits,” says Hamilton. “This ordinance calls for a study of those areas and other locations in Metro Louisville while the moratorium is in place.”

The ordinance asks for a twelve month moratorium on the granting of any further permits for the construction or establishment of transitional/ rooming housing in these West Louisville neighborhoods.

It calls for a comprehensive study of zoning regulations in order to review appropriate zoning design standards for transitional housing which includes boarding and lodging housing and halfway shelters.

Hamilton says the ordinance is a direct result of concerns raised by residents in the Shawnee and Chickasaw areas because of the recent influx of more group and rooming transitional housing being concentrated in certain residential areas in West Louisville.

“To be clear, the stance against the inundation of transitional and rooming housing units in West Louisville neighborhoods is not a stance against the individuals that either choose or are constructively forced to live in these housing units. It is our goal to offer support to individuals to transition and embrace the neighborhood’s values and qualities,” says Donovan Taylor, President of the Chickasaw Federation, Inc. “The call for attention on area transitional and rooming housing units is primarily an effort to maintain neighborhood quality and value.”

The Councilwoman says the moratorium and the study are appropriate given how these areas of West Louisville are in the process of revitalization and preservation.

“We are seeing many good things happening in the Shawnee area as residents and business are now taking a new look at what West Louisville has to offer,” says Hamilton. “But we need to get this issue under control for the peace of mind of those who are reinvesting in their community.”

“The opening and operation of these housing facilities without proper notice and authority demonstrates a lack of respect for people living in our neighborhoods. A resolution of a moratorium in our community will give residents a sense of tranquility and hope. We're asking for this moratorium be granted for our neighborhoods while their location and impact on our neighborhoods is studied,” says Bonnie Cole, President of the Shawnee Neighborhood Association.

The ordinance has been assigned to the Planning, Zoning and Land Design and Development Committee.

Letters of Support from the Community

Dear Metro Council:

On behalf of the Chickasaw, west Louisville neighborhoods, and Greater Louisville, we are grateful to Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton and the Metro Council on giving attention to neighborhood concerns relating to area transitional and rooming houses.

West Louisville neighborhoods take pride in embracing and promoting quality, neighborly living – welcoming a diverse and varied population. On the contrary, it is an area dealing with many environmental stresses with residents strongly expressing that the inundation of transitional and rooming housing units, presently without controls and/or guidance, increases stresses upon the area.

The call for a moratorium or similar action to prevent additional transitional and rooming housing units in west Louisville is necessary to examine the impact of such housing units in and about the area. The impact study shall examine: (1) the legality or guidelines required of these housing units, (2) monitoring and code enforcement, (3) target renter populations and criminal and/or health concerns, (4) predatory renting practices, (5) quality and livability, (6) impact on residential and commercial property values, (7) impact on area property sales and values, (8) impact on area rental rates, and (9) risks relating to the density and location of these housing units.

To be clear, the stance against the inundation of transitional and rooming housing units in West Louisville neighborhoods is not a stance against the individuals that either choose or constructively forced to live in these housing units. It is our goal to offer support to individuals to transition and embrace the neighborhood’s values and qualities.

The call for attention on area transitional and rooming housing units is primarily an effort to maintain neighborhood quality and value. This is an effort to preserve area neighborhoods’ unique and beautiful housing stock – one of the many jewels of west Louisville. This is an effort maintain neighborhood order and decency – advocating against nuisance and criminal behaviors. This is an effort to enhance neighborhood value – promoting neighborly living and protecting home investments. This is an effort to protect the area neighborhoods’ quality of life and enjoyment – maintain its attractiveness for both individuals and families.

Thanks for your attention on this true neighborhood concern. Your prompt response and action on this matter would be greatly appreciated and mutually beneficial to west Louisville neighborhoods and the Greater Louisville communities.

Very best regards,

CHICKASAW FEDERATION, INC.

Donovan Taylor, President

Tel: 502.299.5970

E-mail: dctayloresq@gmail.com

From the Shawnee neighborhoo

I’m writing this letter on behalf of Shawnee Neighborhood Association in support of a moratorium on Temporary/Transitional Housing in the Shawnee Neighborhood. Individuals and families currently residing in the Shawnee Neighborhoods with illegal transition housing are angry and frustrated.

The illegal housing creates safety, and economic issues for our community.
The Illegal housing decrease the value of property of homes, creates an obstacle for landlords to rent their property adjacent to such property and impairs our ability to attract businesses to locate in our district.

The failure of landlords to personally supervise or provide on site supervision allows boarders to engage in drugs/alcoholic abuse and other criminal related activities. These activities increases the crime rate within their community.

These illegal activities lessen the quality of life for residents. Residents don't feel safe in their homes. They are afraid for their personal and family safety. Parents restrict children's ability to play outside, and elderly no longer feels comfortable to walk within their neighborhood nor seat on their porches.

Residents are requesting support of our government officials to authorize zoning for family residential usage, only. Residents feels as though they are prisoners within their homes because of the illegal activities surrounding their homes. Operation of these illegal housing demonstrate a lack of respect for people living in our neighborhoods.

A resolution of a moratorium in our community will give residents a sense of tranquility and hope. We're asking for this moratorium be granted for our neighborhood.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Cole

President, Shawnee Neighborhood Association