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Pensacola's probation, parole office no longer moving
PENSASCOLA The ongoing saga surrounding Pensacolas Probation office has taken another twist and it is bringing smiles to many faces in North Hill.
The Department of Corrections filed paperwork with the city to move into the old Coca Cola Building last fall. The move was expected to save the state money. Along the way controversy arose over the citys zoning laws that outline a probation and parole facility wasnt allowed at the North Hill location.
Now the Department of Corrections is changing its mind about moving at the direction of Governor Rick Scott.
Tori and Christ Rutland cant wipe the smile off their faces after learning the Probation and Parole office wont be moving into the bottling plant next door.
"It's wonderful to know that we're going to be safe, that my kids can still play around here and walked the dog and I don't have to worry" said Tori Rutland, North Hill Resident.
For weeks residents have remained steadfast and opposed the move. They didnt want to see thousands of offenders funneling through their neighborhood every month. They also had parking concerns and questioned whether zoning laws were being followed since the bottling plant is in a commercial zone, probation and parole offices are to be in industrial zones.
"When you consolidate several probation and parole offices into one in a residential neighborhood it just throws the balance off and didn't make sense to me" said Rachel Trahan, North Hill Resident.
North Hill residents handed out flyers, voiced their concerns at City Hall, tagged the graffiti bridge and waved dozens of signs to Governor Rick Scott while he was in town.
"We didn't get to speak with him but maybe us being there and our presence was enough to show him how important it was this didn't happen in our neighborhood" said Chris Rutland, North Hill Resident.
Friday morning the Department of Corrections decided to change course on their decision to move into the bottling plant. Instead they plan to extend their lease at their current facility on North Davis Highway.
Welcomed news to much of the North Hill community.