Administrative Law Judge, G. W. Chisenhall has ruled that the City Walk-Urban Mission, Inc. is entitled to a permit – with conditions – from the City of Tallahassee to operate a transitional residential facility at the property located at 1709 Mahan Drive, Tallahassee, Florida.
The City of Tallahassee argued that the Mahan facility does not satisfy certain regulations and amounts to a private nuisance because it acts as a magnet drawing homeless people to the area that resulted in an increase in crime.
However, Judge Chisenhall concluded that the City did not carry its burden of proof because homeless encampments have existed in the nearby area for many years.
Also, the call for service data from TPD was inconclusive as to whether overall crime in the pertinent area has been trending upward since January 1, 2021, and failed to demonstrate that residents of the Mahan facility were the cause of any crimes.
In addition, there was conflicting testimony from residents and business owners on whether the problems caused by City Walk’s operation of a low barrier shelter persisted after the transition to residential facility.
For the same reasons, the City failed to prove that the City Walk application fails to satisfy permit requirements by changing the character of the surrounding area or unreasonably adversely impacting existing uses of the area.
Based on these findings, Judge Chisenhall recommended that the City of Tallahassee grant the City Walk-Urban Mission, Inc.’s application to operate a transitional residential facility pursuant to section 10-417 of the Tallahassee Land Development Code, at the property located at 1709 Mahan Drive.
The recommendation is based on the following conditions:
(a) maintain current security protocols which must include camera surveillance monitored in real time with dedicated staff patrolling the grounds;
(b) no resident discharges between the hours of midnight and 7:00 a.m.;
(c) if there is an urgent need that requires discharge of a resident between the hours of midnight and 7:00 a.m., then City Walk shall obtain the assistance of law enforcement or private security;
(d) vigorous enforcement of City Walk’s existing prohibitions against panhandling, loitering, traveling through certain neighborhoods, and patronizing certain businesses;
(e) no acceptance of anyone who has been convicted of a sex-related offense; (f) no admission of anyone who is prohibited by statute from residing at 1709 Mahan Drive due to the proximity of schools and daycare facilities;
(g) capping the number of full-time residents at 64;
(h) no provision of basic necessities such as food and clothing to anyone who is not a resident; (i) maintenance of a resident log in order to assist with ascertaining residents’ whereabouts; and
(j) implementation of random and routine checks for contraband in the