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City Walk files Motion to Dismiss code violation charges

City Walk Urban Mission
Posted at 3:52 PM, Mar 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 15:52:46-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — City Walk Urban Mission filed a Motion to Dismiss the current code enforcement charges on the grounds that they are barred by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

On March 24, 2021, City Walk was served a letter from the Tallahassee Code Enforcement saying it had five days to stop acting as a shelter after the City denied City Walk's permit to operate as a shelter earlier this month.

City Walk's motion filed Wednesday states, "Those allegations are so vague that Respondents are unable to formulate a meaningful defense. However, it appears that the charges associated with permits and inspections are directly related to the underlying issue with site plan approval."

The motion outlines that the nonprofit is operating a church and religious mission at 1709 Mahan Drive.

That location is home to "church offices, day center, meeting space for small group Bible studies and a residential facility for up to 64 residents in need of spiritual guidance and physical sustenance."

City Walk's motion state that its "principal mission is to provide religious and social services to Tallahassee’s homeless population. The heart of that religious and humanitarian mission can be summarized as follows: Housing the unsheltered members of our congregation is a major aspect of City Walk’s ministry. Our obedience to God’s Word is how we worship."

City Walk applied for site plan approval as a Transitional Residential Facility pursuant to §10-417 of the Tallahassee Code of Ordinances. That application was denied by the Development Review Committee on March 9, 2021.