Here’s why the Iron Gate soup kitchen case was continued

Iron Gate announced Tuesday that it will hold a public meeting of its own on the proposed move at 6 p.m. Sept. 1 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 501 S. Cincinnati Ave.

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BOA IRON GATE 6748-2
A majority of people at Tuesday’s Board of Adjustment meeting rose to their feet when asked to stand if they wanted the Iron Gate public hearing to proceed as scheduled. The hearing was held at City Council chambers of City Hall. KEVIN CANFIELD/The Frontier

No one should be surprised that the Board of Adjustment voted Tuesday to continue the public hearing on Iron Gate’s request to move its soup kitchen from downtown to the Pearl District.

Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the people at Tuesday’s meeting stood to say they wanted the hearing to go on as scheduled, board members had compelling reasons to continue the case to Sept. 8.

As board Vice Chairman David White noted, it is the board’s custom to grant an initial request for a continuance if there is a good reason.

Mac Rosser, Iron Gate’s attorney, said the nonprofit wanted the continuance to address residents’ concerns about the project.

Then there were these facts to contend with: two of the board’s five members had to recuse themselves from the case, leaving just three members to vote on it.

That means Iron Gate would have needed a unanimous vote in favor of its request for a special exception to the zoning code for the soup kitchen to be moved. Or, put another way, opponents of the move would have needed only one “no” vote to kill it.

Board Chairman Frazier Henke said he could not remember a time when the BOA had decided a case with just three members, especial one of such importance to the community.

With the hearing moved to Sept. 8, the board will have four people to hear the case.

That’s because Tuesday’s meeting was the last for Michael Tidwell, one of the two board members who could not hear the case, and his replacement should be confirmed and present Sept. 8.

That leaves just one board member, Tori Snyder, who will recuse herself.

In the meantime, Iron Gate announced that it will hold a public meeting of its own on the proposed move at 6 p.m. Sept. 1 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 501 S. Cincinnati Ave.

Trinity Episcopal is the current home of the soup kitchen. Iron Gate is proposing to build a new 16,000-square-foot soup kitchen and grocery pantry on the southwest corner of Third Street and Peoria Avenue.

Click here if you want to learn more about the proposal.

Soup Kitchen 2 2015-08-24 at 6.02.10 PM
This rendering shows the proposed Iron Gate soup kitchen and grocery pantry at the southwest corner of Third Street and Peoria Avenue in the Pearl District./Courtesy
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