Residents wronged by parole office move

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 29, 2004

There is nothing wrong with the state’s parole and probation office moving from Alabama Avenue to Lauderdale Street. Zoning restrictions are being observed. Legal requirements are being met.

But just because nothing wrong is happening doesn’t make it right.

The city’s zoning law doesn’t distinguish between an insurance and a parole office. People do. The parole office’s new location will sit next to historic homes filled with families and their young children.

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The law states it isn’t wrong. We say it isn’t right.

Councilwoman Jean Martin and Ward 3 residents are correct – there are several buildings in Selma that don’t lie in a residential area that would suit the parole office’s needs. The former E-911 office, located behind the Selma Police Department, was offered as an alternative by Martin. It sits away from residences. It has parking that extends down Franklin Street and Water Avenue.

It is one of many &uot;right&uot; locations for the parole office.

However, the state has signed a lease for the Lauderdale Avenue property. The parole office is expected to move in early March and Ward 3 residents never got a chance to express their opinions. Now they will change their daily routines, keep their children indoors and possibly watch their land values drop because of the parole office’s relocation.

If the law states it’s right, why do Ward 3 residents feel wronged?