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City official seeks zoning change for homeless shelter

The Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore City Council member is hoping to correct the zoning status of an emergency shelter run by a nonprofit organization and change the zoning at another site so the group can expand to a new location, according to the councilman.

Councilman Bernard C. "Jack" Young said he introduced legislation in 2002 meant to give Project PLASE the proper zoning for a 4,200-square-foot emergency shelter at 2031 St. Paul St., but for some reason the bill did not pass.

Young said yesterday that he thought it had passed - as did officials at Project PLASE.

Representatives of Project PLASE told Young they must fix the zoning problem at their St. Paul Street location, which they intend to leave before they open a new facility for the homeless at 1801 Falls Road.

The two bills were introduced at a council meeting yesterday and were not discussed. They were forwarded for review to the Land Use and Transportation Committee, which is headed by Councilman Edward L. Reisinger.

Project PLASE Executive Director Mary C. Slicher could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mayor Sheila Dixon has made fighting homelessness a cornerstone of her administration. She introduced this year a plan to end chronic homelessness in the city by 2010.

Project PLASE has been working with homeless and poor people in Baltimore since 1974, according to the organization's Web site. The group offers both transitional and permanent housing.

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