DALTON GARDENS - Ex-cons housed here? Not in this backyard.
Seattle-based nonprofit Pioneer Human Services has been denied a permit by the Dalton Gardens planning commission to open a federal prison residential re-entry facility.
Pioneer sought the permit for property at 5648 N. Government Way, which Pioneer has yet to acquire.
In Pioneer's application, it said it wants to establish the facility to house, monitor and provide services for up to 43 residents. Occupational training and pre-apprenticeship training would occur in the adjacent building or parcel.
There was a public hearing Tuesday in front of the planning commission, which voted 5-0 to deny the request.
Marcia Wingfield, city clerk, said 12 people spoke against the facility during the hearing and 13 people submitted written comment forms opposing it.
She said the planning commission will vote on Tuesday next week to officially approve the "order of decision," which lays out in writing the reasons for the denied permit.
The group can appeal to the city council.
Dalton Gardens Mayor Dan Franklin and deputy mayor Steve Roberge didn't return calls seeking comment about where the city stands on any potential appeal from Pioneer.
Hilary Young, a spokeswoman for Pioneer, said they are waiting for the formal written opinion from the city before determining their next move.
She said the 21 to 43 residents of the proposed facility would be people from North Idaho who had been in federal prison. She said the Government Way property is "really suitable" for the purpose.
While people are fearful, she said, they also recognize the value of the work.
"While there isn't currently a facility in Dalton Gardens, there is one in the area (Coeur d'Alene)," she said.
The Dalton Gardens facility would be a replacement for Coeur d'Alene, she said. Idaho's other federal prison residential re-entry facility is in Nampa, she said.