News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Several private companies are expressing interest in bringing another halfway house to Augusta. Neighbors in the Laney Walker area were fighting one company while a different one is trying to open shop in their neighborhood as well.
City officials say the property owners have rights and so do neighbors. The side with the most commission votes wins.
Laney Walker neighborhood members Stella Nunnally and Linda Moyerta are upset. They're fighting possible zoning changes.
"If we have God on our side, our chances should be good," said Nunnally.
"I don't think their chances are that good, to be honest with you," said Planning and Zoning Director George Patty.
"I'm all for having someone rehabilitated after getting out of jail. We have one already; let them share this with someone else," said Moyerta.
A Kentucky company will request a special exception to turn an empty warehouse on Taylor Street into a reentry program for ex-cons. Several weeks ago, a Nebraska company wanted permission to open the same thing across the street. A state-run halfway house is already in the area.
"If we're going to build up our neighborhood, we can't have this stuff here," said Moyerta.
"There are other things that have to be considered. Property owners have rights as well. They have to balance those against the rights of the public," said Patty.