Homeless shelter expansion resisted

A debate over whether the Grand Junction Community Homeless Shelter on North Avenue should be allowed to expand is headed for the Grand Junction Planning Commission.

City planners in March approved an expansion of the shelter, 2853 North Ave., that would allow it to grow from 8,630 square feet and 87 beds to 13,975 square feet and 130 beds. But two neighboring property owners appealed the decision.

The appeal comes a year after the homeless shelter postponed plans to add beds when a neighbor asked it to consider a 90-day moratorium.

With an increasing number of people using the shelter, residents and business owners have complained about loitering, trespassing and unease of people who live, work and shop in the area.

Shelter operators installed an 8-foot wall along the south side of the property to provide a buffer for residents whose homes back up to the building. But that hasn’t quelled the concerns.

Alan Sarkisian, who owns a small apartment and office complex at 2850 Belford Ave., wrote in an appeal that the approval of the expansion didn’t consider the impact on the surrounding residential and business community.

“Clients of Homeward Bound have cut through the 2850 Belford Avenue property on their way to 28 1/2 Road, which has led to the use of a garden hose to take a shower, an abandoned car blocking the trash bin (10/9/2008), and other actions that have the cumulative effect of hindering potential patrons of the businesses,” Sarkisian wrote in his appeal.

City Senior Planner Senta Costello said officials still are determining when planning commissioners will hear the appeal and how they will hear it.


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