After recent complaints from residents in a quiet Iowa neighborhood about a halfway house being built without proper notices, the Jeff Davis Police Jury have proclaimed that halfway houses as well as other rehab type facilities will have to meet the requirements of a ‘commercial zone’ status.  This will essentially keep these types of facilities out of residential areas.

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The measure isn’t retroactive, and does not affect the construction of the aforementioned halfway house.  However no permit for such a facility was ever applied for with the police jury, were the builders to apply now for a rezoning request, could possibly be denied based on the new proclamation.

However the developer of the residence is calling it a ‘sober living home’ with 8-10 men in residence, and the home will be self-sufficient with no federal or state funds used to operate it.  The home is to be for non-violent individuals undergoing drug or alcohol rehabilitation – the developer claims federal laws regarding handicapped people exempt him from obtaining any special permits for his plans.  The Fair Housing Act of 1988 prevents discrimination against handicapped people – according to the federal law ‘handicapped’ includes alcoholism, drug addiction and mental illness.

Many of the complaints to the Police Jury were from or about single working mothers living in the neighborhood, who expressed great concern and some anxiety over a home full of men.

Something tells me some attorneys somewhere are soon going to be making billable hours over this.