Lexington's Board of Adjustment and the Community Inn Friday worked out a four-month stay of the revocation of the Community Inn’s conditional use permit, while the city works with the Community Inn to resolve the matter.
During that time the city will work with Community Inn to find a new location that will allow the shelter to better serve the homeless and also addresses the concerns of the surrounding neighborhoods. The facility is currently on Winchester Road.
"We were facing a closure of this facility just as winter comes on, and that’s not right," Mayor Jim Gray said. "The Board of Adjustment made a wise decision today to hold off four months. This gives the city and the Community Inn time to work together to address the needs of our entire community. In the end, that’s the solution we all want. The Community Inn serves people who need help."
"We are pleased to work with the City to assure that the Community Inn will continue to offer warm, safe shelter for our fellow citizens who call the streets of Lexington home," said Ginny Ramsey, co-founder of the Catholic Action Center. "We look forward to a permanent solution that continues this ministry of the Emmanuel Apostolic Church."
In June the Board of Adjustment revoked the conditional use permit for the Community Inn, ruling the approved conditional use permit and existing zoning do not permit a homeless shelter on the property. The Board gave supporters of the Community Inn six months, or until December 8, 2012, to find a new location.
Neighbors living near the Community Inn told the Board that the facility had affected their quality of life. Urban County Councilmember Bill Farmer said he shares neighbors’ concerns, but said he thinks Friday's agreement is a step toward a long-term solution. "No one wants a long fight about this in court. We want a permanent solution that includes moving the Community Inn to an appropriate location," Farmer said.
The Board Friday authorized the city to enter an agreed order to extend the conditional use permit until April 8, 2013.