Following the 3-2 vote by the Tallahassee-Leon Planning Commission to deny a permit to the City Walk – Urban Mission, the City of Tallahassee issued a statement by City Attorney Cassandra Jackson.
The statement by Jackson notes that the shelter has operated continuously and without a permit.
Also, it states, in part, “If the violations are not immediately abated, the City will commence enforcement action concerning the Building Code violations and evaluate all potential legal action to remedy the violations.”
The full statement is provided below.
STATEMENT FROM CITY OF TALLAHASSEE ATTORNEY CASSANDRA K. JACKSON
The City of Tallahassee is taking steps to initiate appropriate enforcement action concerning the continued operation of an unpermitted homeless shelter by City Walk – Urban Mission on Mahan Drive.
On January 12, after a lengthy public hearing, the Tallahassee – Leon County Planning Commission voted to deny City Walk’s application for authorization to operate the shelter at the Mahan Drive location.
Despite initially opening as what was characterized as an emergency cold night shelter, the shelter has operated continuously and without a permit.
The City initiated code enforcement proceedings last year and obtained an order from a code enforcement magistrate ordering compliance with the City code and directing City Walk to cease the unpermitted operations. City Walk appealed the code enforcement order to Circuit Court, and the appeal was decided in favor of the City.
With the continued operations and a final denial of the application for site plan approval, the City is preparing to commence additional enforcement action. In addition to the unpermitted operations, City Walk is also in violation of the Florida Building Code and minimum requirements for a structure that is used for human habitation.
If the violations are not immediately abated, the City will commence enforcement action concerning the Building Code violations and evaluate all potential legal action to remedy the violations.
Does anyone know how many people are homeless in the Tallahassee area? If so, do we know how many of these people actually lived in Tallahassee and through whatever circumstance became homeless?
We should most definitely reach out to house and help our local homeless. Send those “drifters” from other areas back from where they came. That would make room for our local homeless folks in properly located and permitted shelters. Perhaps the need for illegally operated shelters like City Walk would be eliminated.
Just something to think about.
“We haven’t gotten any kickbacks, so we will shut this place down like a 1920’s Gin Den.”
– The Ususal Suspects
You allowed City Walk to set up there for the Winter as an Emergency Status last year, just for those couple of Months. I could have told you that this was going to happen. You should have been there the Day the Emergency Status was over to make sure they moved out. Now those Neighborhoods have to suffer because of your Inactions.
Preach on Ray: you are speaking truth to power. Unfortunately our woke @ss elected nannies dont want to hear the real truth.
The local elected nannies are looking to throw lots of money at problems with an eye on enriching go-along-to-get-along local pals and even national business’ who will respond in kind with contributions of one form or another to keep our local elected nannies in power. Abating or resolving local problems such as homelessness, crime, begging, panhandeling, B on B crime, pop up parties, ect…ect…ect is the farthest thing from our local elected nannies thought process. Maybe this next set of local elections will reflect some of the frustrations you describe Mr. Ray. Good post Sir it is an excellent example of the pain and suffering inflicted on the good citizens in leftist run community’s nationwide.
City Walk is certainly part of the problem on the east side, but not the whole issue. My business has been located on Weems Road for 4 years sadly I have seen that side of town decline during that time period. However there is also a very large homeless encampment in the woods just to the west of the Walmart SuperCenter. While City Walk encourages the homeless to frequent that area, until that encampment is removed the problem will persist.
My heart goes out to anyone who finds themselves in this predicament, but as I explained to a panhandler the other day in the Big Lots parking lot there were EIGHT help wanted signs visible from the very location from where he was asking me for money! Sometimes these “social services” just enable the problem more than helping it! Basically, there is ZERO reason for anyone who can stand up and beg to not have a job right now.
While I’ve not had any issues with crime/theft per se at my current business, I have had to wash human feces out of the parking lot several times. I have seen women soliciting for “business” in the wee hours of the morning (1am-4am) off Weems road. I am making an assumption here, as I did not stop and chat, but i don’t see any other reason they would be casually waving at cars at that time of the night.
During the election cycle in 2020 a graffiti artist repeatedly decided to express his displeasure with Trump with spray paint. I was on call for the property manager for rapid response for graffiti removal, and my duties required me to walk the signage areas at the whole Walmart complex frequently. I was appalled at the waste & refuse where the panhandlers frequent at the entrances. Its not visible from cars so much, but behind the hedges it is literally shin deep in beer cans/bottles/trash/and rotting food. Give them money, they go directly to the store, buy a bottle and drink it, then when they’re done they just toss it right there. I mean seriously, pick up your trash heathens!
Ironically, I’m opening a new business in the plaza at Mahan and Capital Circle, and guess what I found at my front door? A gigantic human Deuce , complete with wipe rag…. come on people…there are bushes and trees surrounding that entire complex. Stop acting like animals and defecting wherever you feel is convenient. Have some basic decency.
The COT can “take steps” to get rid of a homeless shelter, but when a pop-up party is rattling every window in every house in Myers Park at 3 a.m. they are “powerless” to stop it. The city of Tallahassee can always be counted on to do the wrong thing at the wrong time for the wrong reason.
I am sure they have an ulterior motive in closing this thing down, unfortunately the good citizens of Tallahassee never get factored into any of their machinations.
I don’t trust those rats as far as I can throw them.
Inforce the law when ya don’t others take that as an ok to them also laws are laws
The time to complain about dropping the ball is when it’s dropped, not when it’s picked back up again. A well run facility that adheres to the same rules as everyone else, would be of benefit – if it’s at an appropriate location. An operation that bullies area businesses and neighborhoods into decline, will do more harm than good. An operation that has triggered fear and conflict among neighbors, doesn’t belong.
Passions have been engaged by a steady drumbeat of “homes for the homeless.” I agree. Lets get them into homes, not an institutional setting.
I dont feel City Walk should have been able to set up shop in the area for the devaluation property value factor of several nearby neighborhoods along with residents safety concerns.
However I am not accustomed to COT doing what many residents with common sense want COT to do and am suspicious of COT’s motivation.
Could the upcoming election be a motivation factor?
Somebody help me out here because the last time COT did the right thing in situations like this was….no they messed that up…oh wait it was…no wait they dropped the ball there too…oh remember when COT took a bold and decisive stand against…my bad they dropped the ball then too…oh I remember……