A planned opening for a new women’s outreach center in Ozark has been halted due to the city’s zoning ordinance.
The Dale County Rescue Mission was set to open the Women’s Ministry Center at 484 N. Union St. on Thursday but learned Wednesday that the city would prevent the facility from opening for the time being.
The building, which was donated by a local resident, is in a residential zone.
The Rev. Thomas Nixon, the mission’s president, said the city received a complaint about the center’s opening, which brought the zoning issue to light.
“We’ve got to clarify the city’s position and come to an agreement of terms with the city before we can legally open the place,” Nixon said. “They haven’t come to us with the complaints, but the city has told us they had some complaints.”
Nixon said the center will help women in the community with a variety of issues, from job and family relationships to life skills.
“We’re approaching it from a religious standpoint,” he said.
Nixon said he will likely have to seek out the city’s board of zoning adjustments to obtain an exemption to the zoning ordinance.