No investigation following rental duplex rejection

Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan will not launch an investigation of Sturgis city zoning ordinances following the city’s rejection of a rental duplex for homeless individuals sought by Keystone Place.
Bob Ells, executive director of the nine-county FHC, said FHC officials recently met with city representatives to review the Sturgis Planning Commission’s mid-March decision and FHC has no plans to pursue an investigation.
Ells characterized a FHC official’s suggestion that elements of the March Keystone duplex decision appeared to be more “punitive and restrictive” than other rental housing rules as “her opinion” rather than an agency position.
In March, planning commissioners rejected granting a special use permit that would have allowed a residence at 409 Michigan Ave. to be modified and rented as a two-family duplex. Neighbors had objected to the use, saying it opened the location to too many occupants, crowded parking and potential illegal activity.
At that meeting Pat Maye, FHC education director, questioned whether the decision might discriminate against people of low-income.

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