- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - City officials have denied a permit for a new women’s transitional housing facility that was to be located in a Mendenhall Valley neighborhood.

The area where Haven House Juneau was to open is not zoned for a halfway house facility, the Juneau Empire reported Tuesday (http://bit.ly/MXlyeW ).

The faith-based nonprofit was planning on providing transitional housing for women released from Alaska’s prison system. An anonymous donor purchased the house for the organization in December.

Upon receipt of the house as a donation, the organization filed for a building permit in December to change the house’s status from single family to a transitional group home.

City officials determined it did not meet that definition.

Because Haven House “might include someone that was on parole” or continuing to serve a “sentence for a criminal act” in some way, the facility qualifies as a halfway house by the city’s standards, said Juneau Community Development Director Hal Hart.

The zoning for the neighborhood, Tall Timbers, does not permit halfway houses, though it does permit group homes.

Haven House Board President June Degnan said her organization plans to appeal the decision.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com

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