A group care facility last week received approval from Norfolk City Council to operate in South Norfolk.
Following a public hearing, council voted unanimously to approve the three readings of a zoning order at the request of Richard J. and Kathy A. Sullivan of R-2 (residential district at one and two families) at R- 3 (multi-family residential district) for a house at 306 Indiana Ave.
On November 16, the Norfolk Planning Commission voted 6-0 to recommend approval of the zoning change. The board’s decision to approve the ordinance helps pave the way for the therapeutic home environment to help women re-enter the community.
It will be operated by Women’s Empowering Life Line (WELL), which will provide 24/7 staffing at the facility.
Norfolk city planner Valerie Grimes said the area has R-3 zoning about 2 ½ blocks to the west and C-3 zoning about a half block to the south. The house is just north of Omaha Avenue in South Norfolk.
Donielle Larson, executive director of WELL, said the goal is to make the home a 3.5-level adult treatment center. This means that it would be used for residential treatment and drug addiction, as well as mental illness.
Mayor Josh Moenning and council asked Larson about the change, including how the parking lot would be managed.
Larson said the house has lane access, so there will be parking in the lane, as well as additional parking in another lane behind the house. The center could accommodate up to 10 residents, she said.
“There will be adequate parking without us having to use the street,” she said.
No one spoke out against the zoning change during the public council hearing. Norfolk has several of these types of homes for residents to return to the community.
These types of treatment facilities are permitted out of the box with R-3 zoning, but require a conditional use permit in R-2 zoning.