FATE OF PROPOSED ICE BUILDING IN HANDS OF BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT
Hendersonville City Manager Bo Ferguson says the City of Hendersonville's Board of Adjustment will be conducting a hearing at 1:30pm on Novemver 27th on the proposed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) location in the former physician's office at the corner of Sixth Avenue West and Justice Street.
A tall fence, topped off with barbed wire, caused local concerns the facility might be used for detention of illegal immigrants. Pardee Hospital, which is only half a block away, physicians offices which are next the proposed facility, and the close proximitt to the Elks Club all expressed opposition to an ICE detention facility there...and the City of Hendersonville consequently denied permission to the GSA (federal General Services Administration) and ICE to occupy the recently remodeled facility.
Ferguson says the owner of the building appealed that denial to the city's Board of Adjustment and a hearing on the appeal was scheduled for early September...but the hearing was "continued" to November 27th.
The city's Board of Adjustment will have the final word on the issue. If occupancy is denied by that Board, the matter could then move into the court system.
The city had originally given the "go ahead" for the facility, but when concerns about the facility possibly being used for detention of "illegals" were expressed by the hospital and others in the neighborhood, the city turned down permission for ICE/GSA to occupy the facility...and the current owner of the property then appealed the denial.
Ferguson said there had been some discussion between the city and ICE/GSA, but no resolution had developed...and he said the city remained committed to its position the facility should not be used for any detention purposes. He said he and city officials are comfortable that the matter is working its way through the appeal process.
The building was originally built and occupied by Drs. S.E. and Anne Kirkley with Hendersonville Intenists, then later by phyicians associated with Park Ridge Hospital. It had been sitting empty since the Park Ridge physicians moved to a different location.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
7am October 17, 2012