Hall County Board of Commissioners
What: Public hearing and final action on proposed rezoning for homes for women seeking to leave sex trafficking
When: 6 p.m. Thursday
Where: Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
A long-awaited vote on a proposed faith-based program housing and counseling women seeking to leave sex trafficking is set for tonight at the Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Gainesville-based Straight Street Revolution Ministries’ proposal has been hugely divisive, with a large crowd expected at the meeting. A public hearing will precede the commission’s vote.
Opponents have voiced concerns about property values, safety and security.
The ministry is seeking to rezone 50 acres off Weaver Road, a hilly area off Poplar Springs Road, to enable the residential program.
Foes, like supporters, have praised Straight Street for its compassionate efforts, but they have said the housing program just doesn’t belong in a residential neighborhood.
Just this week, Straight Street scaled back its plans, now seeking to build seven houses instead of 17, with no more than 28 residents allowed on the southeast Hall County site.
Also, a 75-foot undeveloped distance from neighboring properties has been increased to 100 feet along Weaver Road and 200 feet along all other property lines.
Other conditions that have been offered by Straight Street include providing one full-time staff member at each housing unit and installing security gates at the main entrance off Weaver and internal entrances to residences.
Straight Street’s other plans call for adding an administrative building, barn, chapel, activity field, garden and meadow.
“If this doesn’t get approved, you could get a subdivision coming in with 200 homes,” Straight Street founder Todd Robson said in an interview last week.
“We want to keep it beautified down there,” he said. “We want to make it to where the community could use it too. We’d love to put in a community field down there.”
The Hall County Planning Commission recommended denial of the project at its Nov. 21 meeting.