Boonsboro woman intends to renew housing complaint

September 11, 2004|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

BOONSBORO - The Boonsboro woman who initiated a court complaint against a low-income housing project near her home said Friday that she plans to renew the complaint, which was conditionally dismissed last week.

Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, a nonprofit charitable organization, builds homes for families that meet low-income standards. That group is building a duplex facing an alley off St. Paul Street in Boonsboro.

Karen E. Shifler, of Lakin Avenue, had sought an injunction that would block construction of the two-family structure. While the case was dismissed Sept. 3 by Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III, Boone said Wednesday that Shifler had 30 days from the time of his decision to file the suit again.


Shifler said she has volunteered through her church to build homes for the poor, and she never was opposing the fact that low-income residents would join her neighborhood.

"I just feel that (the project) was not done correctly," Shifler said.

Shifler said she still has concerns over the Habitat-built home, including problems that could arise from alley flooding, traffic safety, the town's planning review process and the manner in which Habitat pursued its project.

"I just don't feel I can let down the people who have sent me money, sent me letters. ... I just can't quit," Shifler said.

Shifler's decision was disappointing, said Sherry Brown Cooper, Habitat's executive director.

"I'm disappointed, naturally. ... However, that's her right," Cooper said.

"I wish she would use her energy to come out and help us build ... instead of working against the goodness of Habitat," Cooper said.

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