Discrimination Against Whom?

My Google Alerts alerted me to actual TV coverage about an ongoing struggle one of our Hickman Mills neighborhoods has been dealing with for quite some time now.

New Beginnings Sanctuary, which has been operating a halfway house, currently housing 9 people at Bannister and Manchester, was cited last October. The city issued this statement:

“The City received a complaint about an organization operating outside of the approved zoning for their facility. The City found the operator to be in violation. The property owner was cited for operating a halfway house and a group living facility in an improperly zoned space. The owner appealed the ruling which is their right.”

The area in question is zoned 7.5 which is a residential zoning. The case was heard by the Board of Zoning Adjustment on February 14; however, for whatever reason, they did not rule. The case won’t be heard again until April 11, 6 months after the citation and who knows how long it took the city to cite the group after the neighborhood complaint was made.

Apparently, the company’s attorney is trying to use the Fair Housing Act to win her case. That act is “a federal law that prohibits discrimination based on disability, race, color, national origin, religion. sex and familial status when buying, renting, or securing finances for a home.” According to FOX4, ‘the company said residents are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction with the disability of substance use disorder.”

While they may have a disability, they are not buying, renting, or securing finances for a home. They are living in a house operated by New Beginnings Sanctuary. Even FOX4 said, “ For months the company has been operating a sober living program in the house.”

A company is operating a business in an area zoned residential and was cited by the city for that fact. Certainly seems cut and dried to me and maybe also to the powers that be if the address were on the west side of 71 Highway.