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How to stop a halfway house


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#1 pallen

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 09:10 PM

We have just heard a rumor that someone may be interested in buying a house next door to some friends of ours in Fairmount. They are apparently wanting to turn the house into a halfway house. I dont know if sex-offenders will be there, but our friends have kids and are accross the street from a park and are very concerned about ex-cons living next door.

I'm all for halfway houses and helping ex-cons get back on their feet, but this is a very residential street with families. It is zoned such that it could be split into multi-family housing units.

Is there any means to fight this? This will obviously have a very negative effect on property values and ease of selling property on this block. It may end up being nothing, but the thought of the possibility has our friends very nervous about losing a lot of money they have put into restoring their old house in Fairmount.

Is there anything that can be done?

#2 safly

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 11:03 PM

REALLY?

You're worried about property values NOW!

"Very residential street"???

Any sex offenders would have to be registered in this state.

As for creating a halfway house, I'm sure that they will have to rceive a permit from the State, and like NEW ALCOHOL Sales permits, can be protested. Not gauranteeing anything really, but worth a shot. Does FAIRMOUNT have a NA that forbids this.

I'm sure the now property owner could care less about what goes in, just sell it.

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#3 pallen

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 07:55 AM

Well, they were planning on staying long-term, so assuming the current crisis with home values is not a permanant thing, home values will be up again. If ex-cons begin moving in next door (could be up to 10 at a time there), I am under the impression our friends would get out as fast as possible - the worst possible time to be selling a house. Even if they stayed there until home values were back up, how do you sell a house next door to a halfway house? There's just no good way to spin that.

Even if there are no sex offenders, the idea of having up to 10 known drug dealers, theives, or whatever next door doesnt exactly make you feel good about going off to work and leaving you wife and children at home.

They are going to be contacting the Fairmount people Monday. Apparently there are already 2 smaller halfway houses in the neighborhood.

I realize this is one of those NIMBY things, but there has to be a better place for this kind of thing than next to a park in a mostly single-family residential neighborhood. Maybe they could take over the old Victorian Inn...

#4 TexasPacific52

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 10:20 AM

IF...it was to happen, it probably wouldn't be for sex offenders. Sex offender requirements prohibit them from such places as schools and parks so that would nix this area right of way. If's there's already 2 smaller ones in the area then they are probably for other criminals which means you are out of luck.

You could try city code office to check on any requirements for a half way house. Unfortunately, Fairmount is still a few years away from turning completely around. There are some good streets in there but there are several that are still low end. Fairmount NA, I believe, is a pretty good NA from what I understand.

#5 safly

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 12:53 PM

QUOTE
Even if they stayed there until home values were back up, how do you sell a house next door to a halfway house? There's just no good way to spin that.


Easy, sell it as another halfway house. And get the heck out of dodge.

OR, you could actually see the results and notice the POSITIVE change in the former substance abusers and criminals. THEN you promote your neighborhood as one that can HONESTLY change some of the most fearsome criminals of the PAST into clean law abiding citizens of FAIRMOUNT.

OR, you can say that HEY, did OJ's home and neighborhood value take a hot when he went off in the bronco, did the Hollywood Hills take a hit when Sharon Tate (HOTTIE!) and friends had the worst night of their lives??? So worse have happened.

As far as I can tell having driven around Fairmount, I can see where you get a bit upset about it, but it seems like the best pockets of Fairmount are few and are usually the ones listed in that Fairmount Parade of Homes deal.

Victorian Inn is a great solution, but then now you have those close by neighbors complaining. So it becomes the USUAL, "Oh yeah, nuclear energy makes so much sense, BUT NOT IN MY BACKYARD!??" kind of cry.

Would you object to a halfway LIKE house dedicated to single battered women w/ children???

I'm sure you could RESEARCH and know more about these setups with the state.
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#6 pallen

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Posted 02 March 2008 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE (safly @ Mar 2 2008, 12:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Easy, sell it as another halfway house. And get the heck out of dodge.

haha, good point.

QUOTE (safly @ Mar 2 2008, 12:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OR, you could actually see the results and notice the POSITIVE change in the former substance abusers and criminals. THEN you promote your neighborhood as one that can HONESTLY change some of the most fearsome criminals of the PAST into clean law abiding citizens of FAIRMOUNT.

OR, you can say that HEY, did OJ's home and neighborhood value take a hot when he went off in the bronco, did the Hollywood Hills take a hit when Sharon Tate (HOTTIE!) and friends had the worst night of their lives??? So worse have happened.

I dont know if you noticed, but Fairmount and Hollywood Hills arent quite exactly the same. If it was people like OJ and Sharon Tate next door, I think they would have other problems to deak with, lol.

Again, I am all for working with former criminals and helping them integrate into society as law abiding citizens. I honestry appreciate the problems people like this face. The facts are, however, that the rate of reform is less than 100%. No neighborhood is ever 100% safe - especially Fairmount. You dont move to a neighborhood like Fairmount if that is your requirment. Random violence happens everywhere, but it seems like you would be increasing your odds when you move in 10 guys in the process of re-entering society next door.

QUOTE (safly @ Mar 2 2008, 12:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Victorian Inn is a great solution, but then now you have those close by neighbors complaining. So it becomes the USUAL, "Oh yeah, nuclear energy makes so much sense, BUT NOT IN MY BACKYARD!??" kind of cry.

Would you object to a halfway LIKE house dedicated to single battered women w/ children???

I'm sure you could RESEARCH and know more about these setups with the state.

Victorian Inn is on a busy, mostly commercial street, not deep in the middle of single-family houses and accross the street from a park. Better yet, maybe we should build apartment buildings next door to police stations for such purposes. I can t speak for our friends, but I dont mind there being halfway houses in the neighborhood. I wouldnt even be as upset about one being on my street. Somehow, however, I can sympathize with someone faced with the possibility of one being next door. I think I would prefer a nuclear reactor, I've lived near one of those before.

Battered women and children wouldnt really bother me either, nor would ex-cons of some non-violent crimes (if I could choose). I just wouldn't be crazy about people with a history of violence or child abuse next door. I wouldnt feel like being the guinea pig of some social experiment. The issue here is violence and wether the odds of violent acts occurring go up when there is a halfway house next door. Its not about social prejudice, or not wanting certain kinds of people in the neighborhood or an willingness to help people change. Again, if you have those issues, you probably dont live in Fairmount.

#7 David Love

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 05:51 PM

I'm not sure if there is a politically correct solution or one that everyone would agree with but the zoning regulations are very exact, just recently I've been trying to find my way through the maze of existing rules and recent changes.

http://www.fortworthgov.org/zoning/

QUOTE
5.115 Group Home I or II

A group home I or II may be permitted in accordance with the use tables of Chapter 4, Articles 6 and 8, provided it shall be located no less than one-half mile from any existing group home or halfway house.


There are a number of references to halfway houses but finding what would actually apply to the specific location you're referencing would be the trick and unless that location was already zoned for it, they'd have to go through all the hoops and hurdles, listed (in detail) on that site, before they could move forward.

I have no idea how people located this stuff before HTML and the ability to link back and forth, if it wasn't for wget and the ability to index and actually see how things are connected, I would have killed a few dozen trees and gone through enough yarn to occupy half the cats in Tarrant County by now.

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