Ministry drops plan for group home at Denham Springs site

A religious organization has withdrawn an application seeking city government consent to open a home for young women on 4-H Club Road, according to city officials.

After suitability of the site drew questions from both the City Council and the community during council meetings last month, members tabled the request until the group provided additional information about how it planned to proceed.

City Attorney Paeton Burkett told the City Council on Tuesday night that Door of Hope Ministry has withdrawn its application for a variance that, if granted, would have allowed it to open a group home on a smaller piece of land than is required by city ordinance.

The ministry will consider a different location, Mayor Jimmy Durbin said Wednesday, but added that he doesn’t know where that will be.

Ministry officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

Last month, council members expressed concern about the condition of the building the group proposed to repair and whether the ministry had funds to do the work.

Kristen Maddux, founder of the nonprofit organization, told the council at that time that a number of people were ready to start fixing it up. She said grants, donations and fundraisers would help finance the work.

The ministry had asked the city to allow it to open a home for 12 to 20 young women who have been victims of physical or sexual abuse or other problems including drug abuse.

If Door of Hope had been successful in obtaining the variance, it would have been able to open the group home despite the fact that the plot of land where the home would be located is only 4.23 acres rather than the 5 acres required by city ordinance for such a facility.