by Joe Schwartz
A lawsuit filed Wednesday in North Carolina Superior Court calls into question the legitimacy of the InterFaith Council for Social Service’s move from downtown Chapel Hill to a new facility off of Homestead Road.
The Chapel Hill Town Council approved the permit application for the 52-bed, 17-cot men’s shelter, Community House, in May by a 6-2 vote after months of debate. Now neighbors to the site are taking legal action, appealing that elected officials had already decided to approve the permit prior to the public hearings on the move.
At the May 9 meeting, residents asked that Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and council members Penny Rich, Ed Harrison and Matt Czajkowski recuse themselves based on positions they took about the shelter relocation in a 2009 endorsement questionnaire. The officials opted against recusal, and now that decision will be challenged in court. Czajkowski joined Laurin Easthom in opposing the permit.
Check out the discussion on the lawsuit over at local blog Chapel Hill Watch. More to come as new details develop.