Portsmouth City Council approves controversial easement, zoning change for project

By  | 

PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) -- A controversial matter involving a foster care transition home took another turn Monday night at Portsmouth City Council.

The Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing (PMHA) petitioned for City Council to give them an easement off of Thomas Avenue and for a zoning change from single family dwellings to a large, multi-unit project.

They were successful on both after a unanimous vote by council.

As for the easement itself, they will only be awarded the easement off of Thomas Avenue – providing they are awarded the grant to move forward with this project. If not, they will go back to the drawing board. They say they don't want to disturb the community along Edgewood Drive.

The proposed location sits close to that neighborhood. Neighbors say they were informed that their dead-end street had been proposed as an entrance and exit to the facility and were concerned about the location.

Neighbors are concerned that if Edgewood Drive would need to be widened for the project, it would take away some of their driveways and yards. They are asking council and the housing authority to consider putting the entrance and exit on Thomas Avenue instead.

The new facility would be a facility for 18- to 24-year olds who are transitioning out of foster care.

According to Portsmouth City Council, the facility would be located near Wayne Hills/Kendall Heights.

The Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority says they have come together with Shawnee Family Health to create this partnership to help the most vulnerable people in the community.

"I can understand trying to put up a building to help them," said Edie Knittel. "We all want to help them, but it's the idea that they're putting it at this location."

She went on to say, "It would be a lot easier to just use that entrance from Thomas Avenue to get to the project. Otherwise they would be coming down our street and they would have to extend the road and take down this fence."

Other neighbors spoke out at the last council meeting saying they didn't understand why the facility was being proposed in a residential area instead of a commercial area.

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station. powered by Disqus