Group asks that consideration of rezoning request for homeless shelter be postponed
A nonprofit group that has proposed opening a homeless shelter in northeast Des Moines has asked that consideration of a request to rezone the property where the center would be located be postponed, city officials said. Hope Ministries, which has an agreement to buy a former elementary school at 3800 E. Douglas Ave., wants to open a center for up to 100 women and children at the site. Hope Ministries had requested that the property’s zoning be changed to a planned unit development from single-family residential. The city’s Plan and Zoning Commission was scheduled to hold a public hearing on the request at its meeting on Thursday. It is up to the commission to decide whether to grant Hope Ministries’ request. Des Moines City Councilwoman Linda Westergaard had asked Hope Ministries to put its plans temporarily on hold, a move that would provide more time to address area residents, who have expressed concerns about the proposed center’s effect on property values. Concerns have also been raised about whether the center could eventually serve homeless men and teenage boys. Hope Ministry officials have said the center would be for women and children only.