The Arlington County Board rejected a proposal Saturday to permit Arlington Community Temporary Shelter Inc. to move to a home in the Maywood area of north Arlington.
The 3-to-2 vote to deny a use permit to the shelter, which would have allowed as many as 11 persons to be housed at 3601 N. 21st Ave., near Lee Highway, followed partisan lines. Some residents of the Maywood neighborhood argued the facility should be barred from residential areas.
"A temporary shelter of this nature is not an appropriate use in a single-family, mature neighborhood," said Board Chairman Stephen H. Detwiler, a Republican, who voted against the proposal. "It belongs in a transitional area."
Board member Ellen M. Bozman, a Democrat-backed independent, disagreed. "The neighbors in the Ballston area don't believe it's been disruptive," she said.
ACTS, a nonprofit group, currently operates a shelter at 901 N. Oakland St. Amanda Ellis, ACTS vice president, said that lease could only be renewed for one more year. ACTS had been searching more than a year for a new shelter, which will be paid for with $100,000 in Community Development Grant funds.
Shelter residents are predominantly women and children who are without housing because of eviction or other problems, Ellis said. Shelter rules prohibit drugs and alcohol, impose a 10 p.m. curfew and do not allow visitors, she said.
But those restrictions didn't mollify some Maywood residents, who praised ACTS but said a shelter did not belong in their neighborhood.
"A transient, motel-like facility would be better placed in a commercial or mixed-use zone," said Dorcus Tabor, a longtime resident.
In other action, the County Board unanimously turned down rezoning that would have permitted construction of a 28 town houses at Arlington Boulevard and North Henderson Road, near the Buckingham apartment complex. The proposed town houses would have bordered two churches, the Arlington Assembly of God and the Arlington First United Methodist Church.
Some church members and neigborhood residents criticized the proposal as an inappropriate use of the site. "Anything of the density . . . proposed will create some really destabilizing effects," said John Rowsey, president of the Arlington Forest Citizens' Association.
Existing zoning permits 19 single-family units on the 2.8-acre site, according to a county staff report.