DALTON GARDENS - Pioneer Human Services hasn't decided whether to appeal a city planning commission decision to deny a permit to open a federal prisoner residential re-entry facility.
The Seattle-based nonprofit can appeal the planning commission's decision to the city council, but city officials haven't heard from Pioneer since last week when the denial became official.
The planning commission cited public-safety concerns in its written denial, signed April 30, of a special-use permit for the property at 5648 N. Government Way.
City residents who spoke out against the proposed facility said they were concerned about sex offenders, the likelihood of facility residents re-offending or committing new crimes, and property values.
One Dalton Gardens resident, Laurie Gallegos, who testified during a public hearing before the planning commission, said the facility would have been too close to schools.
Brice Pearson, another resident, said he is concerned about sex offenders.
Pioneer hoped to house, monitor and provide services for up to 43 residents. A second building at the site would serve as an on-site training facility.
The residents would be North Idaho citizens who had been in federal prison. They would have a range of felony offenses, but would be serving the tail end of their sentences.
They would be required to be inside the facility between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., and would be required to work or be in training, according to Pioneer officials.
They would stay up to 12 months, but the average would be three to six months. Approximately 100 to 130 residents would go through the program each year.
There already is a service like this in Coeur d'Alene provided by Port of Hope.