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City council votes no to rezoning for Big Momma’s House

Thursday night, the Pocatello city council made a decision on whether to allow rezoning to build Big Momma’s House at 1200 Pershing Avenue.

It’s an issue that’s been going on for months.

The council voted 4 to 1 to reject the rezoning. One council member recused herself because of conflict of interest. The hearing lasted more than three hours.

Before making their decision, the council heard from all sides.

Those in support argue it’s needed in the community. A few even described their own personal experiences and how a place like Big Momma’s house had helped them get back on their feet.

Those opposed are mostly neighbors who live in that area, or have children that attend the nearby daycare. They argued this type of building does not belong in any residential area. They worry who will be living there and add that an apartment building would make the neighborhood too dense and crowded.

Property values are also a concern for residents.

Representatives from Big Momma’s stated its not a homeless shelter, it’s a secure group living facility.

They will carefully screen residents and will not allow drug abusers or anyone convicted of violent crimes to be allowed in and said it will not negatively impact the neighborhood.

The city council took that all into consideration. When discussing the issue, the council felt Big Momma’s House plan was a little underdeveloped and it would drastically change the neighborhood. The council felt there were some other potential concerns that made them hesitate. Ultimately, they voted against the rezoning.

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