Windy Hills residents meet to address concern over tenant at nea - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Windy Hills residents meet to address concern over tenant at nearby halfway house

Neighbors are upset about a halfway house in their subdivision occupied by a convicted rapist. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Neighbors are upset about a halfway house in their subdivision occupied by a convicted rapist. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Neighbors and leaders in Windy Hills packed a community meeting Monday night. They are upset about a halfway house in their subdivision occupied by a convicted rapist.

“They're not bad individuals. They did bad things. Now we're trying to talk about their future and help them move forward,” Bruce Gates said. 

Gates is an Oxford House outreach coordinator. He runs the halfway house for recovering addicts that was rented in Windy Hills in June. The home is on Wicklow Road.

Windy Hills resident Lacey Little, 33, and his neighbors have a major problem with the halfway house.

“Somewhere there's a building, organization or somewhere that they can deal with that, without sticking them in the middle of a subdivision with schools and kids around there. That makes no sense,” Little said.

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That's only half of the issue for neighbors. The home is also occupied by a convicted rapist. He'll be a registered sex offender for life. He can't legally live within 1,000 feet of a school or playground.

There's a pre-school a little more than 1,200 feet away, which means he's following the law.

“I know our residents are frustrated. We are too. Our city officials are because there's really not much we can do,” Mayor Jim Ising said.

Residents suggested building a playground within 1,000 feet of the home as a way to exclude sex offenders from the neighborhood. However, that violates civil rights.

“We can't take the posture that some citizens need to be discriminated against for any reason,” city attorney James Hodge said.

“We don't want to get our city into trouble, in some kind of a lawsuit,” Ising said.

All city officials and community members can do is monitor the property. Gates hopes some understanding will follow with that.

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“There's a need for other recovering alcoholics and addicts that need as safe place to transition out of either treatment, DSE, or drug corp. (They) want to maintain their sobriety, but aren't ready for that next step like living by themselves,” Gates said.

Oxford House has a four-year lease with the home in Windy Hills.

Copyright 2016 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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