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Springfield Approves Halfway House Zoning Despite Precedent From Earlier In The Year

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One Springfield Alderman called the two zoning changes approved for halfway homes in Springfield during last night's council meeting as "picking and choosing."

Zoning classifications for halfway houses were called into question last fall when a man living in one, known as House of the Rainbow, was arrested for murder.  After that, the council refused to go along with zoning for that operation.   

Yet last night, changes were allowed for properties on East Jackson and South 11th.  

Ward 2 Alderman Gail Simpson says what's known as the Adulthood Transition Centers are operating the way they are intended.

“No body knew they were there until the whole issue of the zoning came up with regard to Rainbow.  So then all of these entities came into question with regard to zoning.  But for the Rainbow issue, and them just allowing anybody into their program, we wouldn’t have been here,” Simpson said.

Simpson says the two centers that won approval last night offer social services and are selective when it comes to who stays there.

The council also approved a three-year, contract with R-W Troxell to insure CWLP properties.  But some aldermen raised concerns about a lack of open bidding.  Similar concerns were raised recently when the city entered into a deal with NAPA auto parts to supply the city garage.

Lee Strubinger completed the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting graduate program and is currently in Colorado.
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