ALTON - The Alton City Plan Commission voted not to recommend a special use permit for The Salvation Army’s New Hope House at 1000 Oakwood Avenue in Alton.

During their regular meeting on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, the City Plan Commission heard arguments for and against the building of the New Hope House at 1000 Oakwood Avenue in Alton. The Commission voted to approve a text amendment to the Alton City Code that would allow temporary shelters under the R-4 Multiple-Family Residential Districts. However, they voted against a proposal that would grant The Salvation Army a special use permit at 1000 Oakwood Avenue.

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The Alton City Council will take this negative recommendation into consideration and ultimately decide whether or not to grant The Salvation Army this special use permit. The Salvation Army seeks the special use permit to build the New Hope House, a 48-bed homeless shelter that would house residents for up to 90 days.

The proposed site at 1000 Oakwood Avenue is currently zoned R-4 Multiple-Family Residential. It has never been developed. Andi Yancey, Deputy Director of Alton’s Planning and Development Department, noted that the surrounding area is a “mixed use area” with several different types of zoning ordinances.

The Commission first voted to put a cap on the number of temporary shelters that can be built in Alton. They decided to limit it to one temporary shelter. This recommendation will go to the City Council.

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By voting to approve the text amendment to the City Code, the Commission recommends that temporary shelters under the R-4 Multiple-Family Residential District follow a few guidelines. These guidelines include 24/7 staffing and a safety and security plan that’s approved by the Alton Police Department, among other zoning requirements.

The Commission voted to approve the text amendment 5–3. Joe Blair, Barry Clayton and Tim Lolley voted no, with Mark Hackworth, Martha Kane, Eric Shultis, Robert Wayne Harris and Shondalyn Williamson voting yes. Todd Harpole was absent.

The Commission voted to not recommend the special use permit to the City Council. Mark Hackworth, Barry Clayton, Martha Kane, Eric Shultis, Robert Wayne Harris and Tim Lolley voted to not recommend it. Joe Blair and Shondalyn Williamson voted in favor of the recommendation.

“This will go to Council with a negative recommendation from the Plan Commission,” Yancey summarized.

The next Alton City Council meeting will be held on June 12, 2024.

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