Ministry Denies Operating Safe House Near School

KEITH READY, Courier Contributor

Ministry Denies Operating Safe House Near School

The "A" marks the spot where Google Maps indicates 516 West Adams St. is located. Woodbury Grammar School is in the background.
Another religious organization is on the hot seat and is being questioned for possible violations of zoning laws here in Woodbury.

The subject was brought up under new business at the Town Of Woodbury Planning Commission's monthly meeting Tuesday night at City Hall.

Wes Frazier, President of Captured By Grace Ministries, approached the commission last year at its March and April meetings to ask the planning commission to change the residence he purchased at 516 West Adams Street from being zoned residential to a commercial zone.

Frazier said he was planning on using the residence as a domestic violence shelter, taking in abused individuals and also people who are homeless. The zoning request was denied. There were concerns that the shelter was too close to Woodbury Grammar School.

After being denied the request Frazier stated he would use it as a church instead. Now, according to Woodbury officials, there are numerous reports that the house is being used as a domestic violence shelter to house abused victims.

Mayor Harold Patrick requested that Planning Commission Chairman Jimmy Barrett write a letter to Frazier to have him attend the January meeting Tuesday night to answer as to why he was using the residence as a domestic violence shelter or show proof he wasn't using it as a safe haven for abuse victims.

Frazier then got in contact with Mayor Patrick and informed him that due to prior obligations he would not be able to attend the January meeting and requested to be rescheduled to the February meeting.

Mayor Patrick then corresponded by letter stating that the commission would not agree to a
continuance unless Frazier assures it in writing that Grace Ministries will not be operating a domestic violence shelter during this period of time.

In a response to the letter, Frazier writes, "We are NOT and have never been. This is a false accusation.”

Frazier goes on to write that, "I am requesting in writing that all that have accused and filed a complaint against the Ministry be present. Also all copies of the sworn affidavit's be given to me at the meeting on February 21st 2012 for my record and future use."

Woodbury City Planner Shannon Copas will research the Town of Woodbury's zoning codes. He advised that this may be an issue for the Board of Zoning Appeals to rule on instead of the planning commission. The matter will be looked into more intensely in February.

No other business was brought up before the Planning Commission Tuesday.