Springfield zoning discriminates against mentally ill, violates fair housing rules

November 27, 2015
The lawsuit by Disability Rights Florida, a Tallahassee-based advocacy group, asks for an injunction blocking the city from enforcing Springfield’s zoning overlay, created about 15 years ago as a unique set of rules for the historic neighborhood north of downtown built in the late 19th and early 20th century.
     It pointed to the city’s refusal last month to permit an apartment building for the homeless as an example of the overlay blocking mentally ill people from living in the neighborhood.
     Ability Housing of Northeast Florida, the Jacksonville-based nonprofit that planned to refurbish a 12-unit building at 139 Cottage Ave., sued last week saying the city had violated the Fair Housing and Americans with Disabilities acts.