Leon County Circuit Judge over-rules city’s decision to deny permit for City Walk Shelter
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A new twist Wednesday in the long legal battle over a controversial home-less shelter in the city.
Early this year the city-county planning commission denied a permit for City Walk Urban Mission’s Shelter on Mahan drive but Wednesday Leon County Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey over-ruled that decision.
The judge found that January’s planning commission failed to adhere to the law in denying a permit for City Walk and now gives them a chance to be re-evaluated.
A decision City Walk and their team are very happy about.
“Encouraged, joyful and cautiously optimistic would be the way I described it,” said City Walk’s attorney Jordan Pratt.
City Walk Urban Mission has now won two hearings against the city of Tallahassee with Wednesday’s order finding that the planning commission failed to adhere to the law in denying the permit.
“The evidence supports City Walk’s application for its ministry and that it was entitled to a fair and neutral hearing from the division of administrative hearings and that it is not up to the city to hold its own factual hearing,” explained the First Liberty Institute attorney.
According to court documents, the city of Tallahassee said City Walk was a nuisance to it’s nearby community but Pratt says that’s not the case.
“It is now proven through both an administrative hearing and now a state appeal that it is a blessing and not a burden,” exclaimed Pratt. “So City Walk has no plans of changing that.”
The case is now being sent back to the commission to reconsider and City Walk says it’s optimistic they can work with the city to operate as a transitional residential facility.
“And city walk is hopeful that at this juncture, now having twice been told that city walk has proven it is not a nuisance but in fact a blessing to community and that the city is going to hopefully approve that application at this point,” Pratt shared.
Moving forward, the city will once again evaluate City Walk’s application using the guidance that the circuit judge provided for them to consider.
As of now, it has not been determined when that will happen.
WCTV has also reached out to the city of Tallahassee for comment on today’s ruling but so far have not heard back.
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