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Vote on housing for women seeking to leave sex trafficking postponed
A Gainesville ministry plans to build a campus housing women escaping sex trafficking on 50 acres off Weaver Road, a hilly area off Poplar Springs Road in southeast Hall County, but the project has drawn opposition from neighbors.

A decision on a proposed faith-based program housing and counseling women seeking to leave sex trafficking will not be decided until at least Jan. 26.

Gainesville-based Straight Street Revolution Ministries is asking the Hall County Board of Commissioners to rezone a 50-acre southeast Hall property to build the complex.

Commissioners, with dozens of residents in attendance both for and against the controversial proposal, on Thursday tabled the matter until the New Year.

Srikanth Yamala, Hall’s planning director, told the commission during a work session Monday that he had gotten an email from Straight Street requesting the delay.

Straight Street is seeking to build the complex off Weaver Road, a hilly area off Poplar Springs Road.

It plans to eventually build 17 houses for the women, as well as an administrative building, barn, chapel, activity field, garden and meadow.

The initial phase calls for one home that would house four people and one caretaker, the report says. Also, services that would be offered at the site include counseling, education programs and life skills training.

The ministry’s proposal also calls for a gated entrance and that no visitors will be allowed on site.

The residents would be women over 18 who are referred to Straight Street through a partner organization.

The proposal has drawn strong opposition from neighbors, who say they believe such an operation doesn’t belong in a residential neighborhood. They also say they are concerned about safety issues and lower property values.

The Hall County Planning Commission voted on Nov. 21 to recommend denial of the project. The commission, however, has final say.

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