Update: Jeffco commissioners heed neighbors, kill plan to build halfway house near fairgrounds
Update: Early yesterday morning, we told you about a Jefferson County group opposed to a plan to build a halfway house near the Jeffco fairgrounds; see our previous coverage below.
Shortly after our post went live, members of the organization spoke to a Board of County Commissioners meeting -- and before long, officials decided not to move forward with a plan to build the facility on the controversial site.
As we reported, the halfway house would have had a 250-bed capacity, with residents likely to have included dozens of sex offenders among other violators. However, the folks with the Coalition for a Safe Fairgrounds felt the site was inappropriate due to its placement in a suburban neighborhood heavily populated with kids and near parks, schools, trails and an animal shelter.
Opponents near the proposed site.
Their argument quickly hit the sweet spot. Here's a Jefferson County release posted after the commissioners' meeting:
County Suspends Consideration of Site Near Fairgrounds for Community Corrections LocationWe asked Coalition spokeswoman Amy Sears for her reaction to this development. Here's her response, delivered via e-mail.
Jefferson County has been reviewing a property along the W. Sixth Avenue Frontage Road near the Jefferson County Fairgrounds and Foothills Animal Shelter for the possible relocation of its Community Corrections program. However, following feedback from the public, the Jefferson County Commissioners today directed the County Administrator not to pursue that property further.
The Community Corrections program in Jefferson County has a long history of safely and successfully assisting residents to transition back into their Jefferson County neighborhoods following their involvement with the criminal justice system. Residents in the Community Corrections program are closely monitored and learn valuable job skills and experience that enables them to become self supporting and to support their families.
The Commissioners remain committed to the Community Corrections program, which has been proven to be very effective. A meeting that had been scheduled for June 25 to discuss the site near the fairgrounds will not be held.
"[Yesterday] morning at the Commissioners' weekly public hearing, about fifty Jeffco residents attended, and about 20-25 voiced their deep concern," she writes. "Within a couple of hours, we got word that this site was no longer on the table. We are elated that the county listened to its people and share a concern for the safety of its citizens. It goes to show how important two-way communication is between government and its residents -- we weren't even scheduled to discuss this with them until June 25th and we already have the answer we wanted."
Continue for our previous coverage of protests over a proposed Jefferson County halfway house, including additional photos.