Connections for the Homeless officials say they plan to seek a new special use permit to purchase and use the Margarita Inn at 1566 Oak Ave. permanently as a homeless shelter.
Nia Tavoularis, director of development for Connections, says city officials this week told the group that the city considers the old rooming house special use permit for the property, issued in 1974, to have expired.
In a statement, Tavoularis says Connections will continue to operate the Margarita Inn, now sheltering 61 people, including seven children, while working with city staff and elected officials to follow the process of applying for a new special use permit.
Betty Bogg, the group’s executive director, says, “Zoning is complicated and often takes a long time, but we are not deterred. Connections has worked in partnership with the city to serve our most vulnerable neighbors since 1984.”
She say the group plans to continue to work to address community input received at a meeting last Sunday where many neighbors sharply criticized what they said were disruptions to the neighborhood caused by people living at the Margarita.
Connections has leased the building for operation as a shelter since early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Before that, the building had for many years been operated as a hotel.