Fate of Lexington homeless shelter unresolved as board postpones hearing

jwarren@herald-leader.comMay 18, 2012 

Questions about the legal status of The Community Inn, a homeless shelter on Winchester Road, apparently won't be resolved until next month.

The Urban County Board of Adjustment, which had been scheduled to take up the case at its regular meeting Friday afternoon, voted instead to postpone the issue until June.

It will be heard in a special board session at 1:30 p.m. June 8.

The postponement was requested Friday by attorney Ed Dove, representing the Catholic Action Center and Emmanuel Apostolic Church, which jointly operate The Community Inn. Dove told the adjustment board that he'd recently taken on the case, and that he and his clients needed more time to prepare for a hearing.

Board members agreed after some discussion, and ultimately decided to schedule a special meeting because they expect large contingents of residents to appear both for and against The Community Inn.

Friday's meeting was to have heard arguments for revoking the conditional-use permit under which The Community Inn operates.

The facility provides a place for homeless men and women to sleep between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. But some neighbors complain that the inn has led to problems with panhandling and concerns with safety and quality of life in the neighborhood.

City zoning officials contend that The Community Inn is not technically a church, something that operators deny.

Dove said after Friday's meeting that he's hopeful the church and city planning officials can reach an agreement to resolve the issue.

Jim Warren (859) 231-3255.

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