A series of Springfield halfway homes that act as a transition for felons fresh out of prison may have to close up shop after aldermen voted to deny a zoning petition by the property's managers.
The issue of House of Rainbows' four properties on North 10th Street in Springfield was postponed from the December zoning meeting and an attempt to continue it another month failed.
During Tuesday's meeting the petitioner's attorney, Tom Immel, said that there was a last minute call from Art Sutton, the Deputy Chief of Parole with the Illinois Department of Corrections. Immel said that Sutton wanted to address the city council about the operation.
Springfield zoning staff recommended denial of the petition and also said that no one from the Department of Corrections contacted them.
Aldermen Frank Edwards said there's nothing that Department of Corrections can say to remove public opposition to the zoning change that would allow the continued operation of the homes.
The homes on North 10th Street house 19 residents and have been operating for several years already but were asking for a zoning change to come into compliance with city code after expanding.
Opponents of the zoning change said they don't oppose the program, they oppose the zoning change to halfway homes when the area is moving more towards single family, owner occupied homes.
Aldermen voted 6 to 4 to adopt the planning and zoning recommendation that denies the zoning petition.
Properties owner David Kettlecamp said before the vote that he will be out of a job if he has to shut down.