Kids’ Home Flap

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

A Marianna neighborhood is not exactly rolling out the welcome wagon for the people who are planning to move in next door. They have plans to open a home for troubled teens.

Bill and Betty Stambler have lived in the house on Kelson Avenue in Marianna for over 50 years. They say they've seen many changes in the neighborhood, but the latest potential change is alarming.

Betty says, "Since we have no idea what kind of security this facility will have, they're going to be there 24/7. What's that going to do to our neighborhood?"

They're talking about the building across the street that was once a sewing factory, then a church, and now possibly a school for troubled teens. The Stamblers say their neighbors are not welcoming the change either.

"They are highly opposed to it because of the noise, because of the congestion, because of the type of students that will be there."

The neighborhood is currently zoned for residential and commercial. The potential buyer of the property, Cavalry Academy Ministries, would require a conditional permit because the building would now have overnight residents.

That request has already been made, and before it's granted city officials say they want public opinion.

Louy Harris, Marianna City Manager, says, "I think our main responsibilities is the protection of the existing resident owners in the city."

"We look forward to getting public input so that we can base our decision on the best interest of the residents of Marianna."

A public hearing we be held Monday at 4 o'clock to discuss. Marianna's planning and commission board is expected to make their recommendation to the City Commission at that time.

Calvary Academy representatives from Milwaukee answered neighbors’ concerns Thursday afternoon, saying they are currently in a residential neighborhood and do not have any court appointed students at their school.


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