Development Review Committee Denies City Walk’s Permit for Permanent Facility

Development Review Committee Denies City Walk’s Permit for Permanent Facility

At Monday’s Development Review Committee (DRC) meeting, the committee unanimously voted to deny a permit for the City Walk Urban Mission, located on Mahan Drive, to transition from a temporary homeless shelter to a permanent facility.

The denial is based on the finding that the facility would create a “private nuisance” in the area. The committee heard several hours of public comments echoing concerns that have been voiced by residents and business owners in the Mahan Drive area.

The vote on the shelter has become a referendum on the homeless issue in Leon County which goes beyond the problems associated with the City Walk shelter. The COVID pandemic has resulted in decisions that have facilitated homeless encampments across Leon County and the relocation of the homeless to hotels. This has resulted in concerns from neighborhood residents and business owners in the impacted areas.

Operators of the City Walk shelter argue that they are providing services that are in demand and that others will not provide. In addition, it appears that City Walk is prepared to deal with challenges to its mission. The group has a ten-year lease on the converted office space, and although their application to provide overnight services was denied, they can continue to provide services to the homeless population during the day. City Walk Executive Director Renee Miller said City Walk intends to continue providing services during the day.

The ramifications of the DRC’s vote — including where the homeless population being housed overnight at City Walk will relocate — are still unclear.

City Walk

The City Walk temporary shelter has caused controversy since opening in November 2020. Residents of the Mahan Drive area have expressed concerns about registered sex offenders residing in the shelter as well as increased instances of loitering around local businesses and neighborhoods.

Business owners in the area have detailed the impact of the shelter on the ability to conduct normal operations and residents have described altercations while walking in the area.

Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey singled out City Walk in January during comments about the “crisis situation in this community” related to the needs and the impact of the homeless. Dailey said he does not support the temporary homeless shelter run by City Walk and “If I could wave a magic wand, I would shut it down immediately.”

The concern by residents in the area is that operators of the shelter are seeking to operate after the emergency situation from the COVID pandemic is over.

In February, City Walk submitted a Type B Site Plan application seeking to transition to a permanent facility. According to a report prepared by Growth Management, staff recommends that the DRC deny the permitting application.

According to the report, “Information provided by the Tallahassee Police Department, staff contacts to surrounding property owners and correspondence received from owners and tenants of adjacent and nearby properties has led to the determination that the facility would cause or create a private nuisance to adjacent properties should it be approved and remain in operation.”

The report states that the shelter “has been a private nuisance to adjacent and nearby properties since its establishment” and cites reports of loitering, harassment of business customers and staff, panhandling, trespassing on residential properties and other issues. The report also found that the shelter does not meet security criteria.

According to the report, City Walk’s application did meet some criteria: there is accessible mass transit nearby, the facility can accommodate its capacity and the design of the facility matches the architectural theme of nearby buildings.

21 Responses to "Development Review Committee Denies City Walk’s Permit for Permanent Facility"

  1. So despite Renee Miller’s claims that they have been in compliance with TPD & LCSO re: sex offenders; this ruling means sex offenders and predators (worst of the worse) CANNOT list this address as their residence. I hope law enforcement will look into this matter carefully; Renee will offer “photo ops” of her with LCSO officers and TPD guys to substantiate her claims that City Walk is in compliance which proves nothing.

  2. @Snidley,

    I respectfully disagree with you about the mayor. He has not been proactive and he has let the pandering at intersections get out of control which has led to the homeless problems regarding managing it. I could go on and on there is poor leadership here and it is time for a change.

  3. This issue is not a “referendum on the homeless issue” it is a referendum on the proper placement of facilities that serve our homeless population in accordance with existing zoning laws and ordinances.

    Geeze it really dont take much to get local underwear bunched up in local cracks.

    Chill people, Mayor Daily will find a solution, thats his job. Despite leaning a little left Mayor Dailey actually does a pretty good job around here.

  4. We have an understanding NaBP. And for the record, I am registered NPA. I’m loyal to my county, not a political party. Frankly I don’t see as much as a dimes worth of difference between the two. The only bipartisan acts I see in DC are corruption, dysfunction, and hypocrisy. I’m also a firm believer in the need for a Convention of States to codify amendments for Congressional Term Limits and a Balanced Budget to name a few. Changes are indeed needed, but changes that favor “We the People”.

  5. Thank you, Mr. Lyle,
    I understand. I’m just worn out from the vitriol not you, necessarily, just in general. You have sound judgment and commentary, I believe, and I detect kindness. I just want to get to a point where if we collectively raise the bar as to how we speak with each other in any forum, the message might resonate. I’m displeased with the GOP and the Democrats so I don’t have a party affinity in my postings but I appreciate intelligent, well thought discussions and comments and for me, personally, I shut down with the name calling and disrespect. It sidetracks me from appreciating what the person is trying to say. Thank you for engaging with me in your manner and response!

  6. “May I ask that you please refrain from using the unpleasant name calling of the current administration and the Democrats?”

    Respectfully, NaBP… where have you been for the past 4+ years? Being the “bigger person” is admirable to be sure, but it is feckless when you’re the only bigger person in the room. I’m often amused how the Democrats (used this time just for you), their Media PACs, and the Big Tech puppets of the CCP – once in charge – suddenly lament the need for respect and civility… after spending the past 4+ years trashing our President, our Nation, our Constitution, our Laws, our Rights, our Freedoms, our Founders, our cities, our Military, our LEOs, and the majority of our Citizens… so you’ll be so kind as to excuse me if I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy.

    Nothing personal toward you though… of course

  7. Mr Lyle, I think you have some great observations and I generally find myself in agreement with them. May I ask that you please refrain from using the unpleasant name calling of the current administration and the Democrats? I realize that we all have the right to say what we want but frankly speaking we all need to move into civility. It has to start with each and every one of us. We have to be respectful of each other. You rightly said earlier that disagreement does not equate hatred. But where does hatred come from? If we all can learn to disagree with civility and respect maybe this country can have dialog that leads to something productive.

  8. Mr. Williams,
    I have to agree with Mr. Lyle. Disagreement does not constitute hatred. I used to be a dyed in the wool bleeding heart. I opened my home, I did community service, I worked in soup kitchens. Here’s what that got me: 1) damage to my home including RATS that I had to pay to eradicate and cost me hundreds of dollars to attempt to rid. Despite the fact that I considered these folks guests and was giving people a leg up, not charging them rent, I could not evict them. The law was on their side. 2) community service got me sexually accosted and nearly raped 3) soup kitchens gave me a the chance to serve people who were better dressed than myself. I’ve stood behind people in the grocery line paying with food stamps (yes, this was years ago) sporting Coach bags, yakking on cell phones when I myself didn’t own one. Do not try to bamboozle the readers here that City Walk harbors poor families that are down on their luck. Yes, there may be some. I do not think those are the ones defecating, urinating, breaking stuff, leaving waste behind. The ones that are doing that are the ones that see us hard working as suckers to be taken advantage. The problem is real but as Mr Lyle said, there is a lust for money, this is a cash cow that someone is milking – not looking to solve the problem.

  9. Gas up another .06 cents… from $1.99 to $2.86 now… in just a couple of short months of the Dementia Joe Biden Sadministration and NaziCrat control. And don’t forget the tens of thousands of good paying jobs that were destroyed along with this insanity. Why be energy independent and pay $1.99 per gallon, when you can pay $2.86 per gallon and finance terrorism. At this pace, I may have to revise my prediction of $3.00 a-gallon by summer to $4.00 a-gallon by summer. But never fear my friends, the Washington Post claimed yesterday that the long-promised $1400 check will “lift millions out of poverty”… and remember, we voted for this (insert wink here)

    Gee, thanks Joe!

    The low income and impoverished who bought your bag of lies.

  10. Your empathetic and slightly-informed rant is commendable Mr. Williams. But do tell… exactly how many homeless are living in your home? Are they sharing a room with your children? Do you let them use your car to find work? Did you even investigate their background before you gave them the keys to your house and car, and let them share a bedroom and bathroom with your children?… or did you just assume that “all” of them just fell on bad times?

    Might I suggest that you educate yourself. Start with recognizing that disagreement does not equate to hatred.

  11. This is sad af you people don’t even know that you are an incident away from the place these ppl are in. Some people don’t have support teams that taught them how to save and be productive and when they found a toe hold life threw another obstacle. City walk is giving those ppl a chance at life they don’t have to be in survival mode because they have shelter they have foods. Think of this if you shut it down those ppl are accustomed to the area and they are not going to leave like you think they are going to go back in survival mode in your neighborhood. Instead of hating due to lack of knowledge u should educate yourself because not only sex offenders stay there, fathers mothers brothers as sisters stay there. Let’s just say you lose your mother and can’t get yourself together with your thoughts and u lose everything. We give to the Kearney and they steal from the clients and treat and talk to them like trash

  12. Gas up another .10 cents… from $1.99 to $2.79 in just two months of the Dementia Joe Biden Sadministration and NaziCrat control. That’ll sure help the low income and impoverished population y”all care soooo much about, right? Oh wait… if we actually get jobs, improve our income, and get out of poverty… you won’t have a base of hate to exploit. So.. just stick to our damaging internet education, socialist indoctrination, weed, and gaming to our obesity puts us in the hands of the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex. Now I get it; never mind.

    Gee, thanks Joe!

    We poor and ignorant folks who believed yours and the Media PAC lies, and voted for you… you know, ‘cause that orange guy said some mean things that hurt our feelings and all.

  13. Why don’t they have a bus drive them to a remote area outside the city in the afternoon and bring them back in the morning. Problem solved.

  14. On March 6 at a city hall protest with about 30 people, the leadership at City Walk threatened to have homeless citizens at night “go on to Mahan into your backyard” if the permit was not approved. People that threaten our citizens by inciting a crowd of 25 homeless citizens … this is what Commissioner Matlow and Porter support?

    Our neighborhoods near City Walk have to live in fear at night? We have to worry about the safety of our children?

    Your safety… your neighborhood may be next. City Walk has plans to expand. Stand with your neighbors and write the city managers to decline the permit.

  15. The very ones screaming to give taxpayer dollars to
    abortions are the ones screaming not in my backyard.

    Just an observation.

  16. And yet our self-proclaimed “leaders” (insert wink here) remain unable to – or even unwilling to – ask and subsequently ascertain the answers to the questions necessary to formulate a realistic and substantive plan to address this challenge. With respect to the homeless challenge, those equation being… who are they?… where did they come from?… and why are they homeless?

    Without asking and getting answers to these questions, there can never; I repeat; never; be a reasonable discussion necessary to bring about a pragmatic solution.

    Keep in mind the ever-so present reality of the lust for money. FACT: the more homeless you have, the more taxpayer dollars you can secure from the local coffers and in matching or full-funding grants from the Federal Government. So you must also have the courage to ask… is the real goal to “solve” the problem, or simply perpetuate and/or increase the money flow? I can tell you from direct experience that sadly, it is more often the latter.

  17. In addition to the above information and perhaps 99% more important the 3 or 4 neighborhoods effected are reliably over 90% voting for the Democratic party regardless of who is running or what issues are on the table.
    If we whizz off such a faithful and reliable voter base as these neighborhoods over something like this City Walk issue who knows where the Democratic voter flight will stop?
    Sounds like an example of the political scheming of Headley L’amar from the American classic Blazing Saddles!!!

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