Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ordinance gives Lighthouse OK for Corryville shelter

Following a five-month search, Lighthouse Youth Services now has the go-ahead to purchase a Corryville building for a 28-bed shelter for homeless youth thanks to a notwithstanding ordinance passed by Cincinnati City Council.

The building, located at 2522 Highland Avenue and labeled "Highland Professional Building", sits in an OG Office General Subdistrict, which doesn't allow special assistance shelters.

Lighthouse plans on renovating the entire building and constructing a two-story addition. The ordinance allows the non-profit to bypass zoning rules on building use, setbacks, and landscaping.

The facility will combine some of the programs offered in Lighthouse's Youth Crisis Center and its Anthony House day program, which serve 15 homeless youths and between 50 and 75 youths per day, respectively.

The move is a commitment to the Cincinnati-Hamilton County Continuum of Care for the Homeless' Homeless to Homes (PDF) initiative and is expected to better address the needs of the approximately 1,000 homeless youths Lighthouse serves annually.

Both the Corryville Community Council and the Mount Auburn Community Council support the project.

And although not recommended by City planning staff, the City Planning Commission approved of the ordinance by a 3-2 vote. Leslie Ghiz was the lone councilmember to vote against it.

In the ordinance, council found the use to be "compatible with other uses in the area surrounding the property".

The property is currently vacant and has been subject to vandalism, including multiple broken windows and stolen copper wiring and plumbing fixtures.

Previous reading on BC:
Qualls presents Homeless to Homes plan to council (4/23/09)
Second community forum for 'Homeless to Homes' this Wednesday (2/23/09)
New plan to help homeless find homes (10/16/08)