The Capitol Zoning District Commission will have a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to adopt findings of fact relative to the commission’s denial of a permit for a rooming house at 2000 Broadway for former first-offenders recovering from substance abuse.
The staff of the agency, which oversees zoning in the Governor’s Mansion and Capitol neighborhood, had recommended approval of the permit. But a motion to allow it failed last week on a 2-6 vote. That constituted denial, but came without a statement of findings on reasons for the vote. It’s potentially important because a question has been raised about whether substance abusers are a protected class and a vote against a home for them based on their disability could be challenged. Commissioners raised a number of other concerns about operation of the rooming house, proposed by Muskie Harris and Lancet Lamb.
The history of the application is a good case study of land use regulation, the evolution of the historic Quapaw Quarter neighborhood, the fervor of preservationists and the ongoing issue of accommodating halfway houses in residential neighborhoods.