Editor's note: This story, originally published June 18, has been adjusted to state the Rollingwood Police Department no longer operates out of a trailer on City Hall grounds, which it began occupying in 2017, not 2016.
The Rollingwood Police Department, which had been operating out of a trailer on City Hall grounds since 2017 but recently moved back into the main municipal building, will continue to wait for a space of its own for at least a little longer.
On May 20, Rollingwood City Council confirmed the city was under a $1.2 million contract to obtain 503 Vale St., a residential property, for the potential use of a police department annex building.
A rezoning application was composed to convert the property from a residential to a government site. However, following opposition from the planning and zoning commission and considerable public outcry, council voted during a June 17 meeting to delay any official action on the property.
Rollingwood officials have frequently acknowledged the size constraints and other issues with the former police building located at City Hall on 403 Nixon Drive. Furthermore, a discovery of mold within the building four years ago forced the department to relocate into a temporary portable trailer.
The site at 503 Vale St. was considered a potential solution for officers, and initially the proposal appeared to garner support from residents.
City information indicates that as of June 12, the city has received 46 comments in opposition to the proposed solution, including from several Vale Street residents who addressed officials June 17.
“The more people that find out about [the plan], the more people that are raising their objections,” Vale Street resident Gary Grossenbacher said. “This particular solution does not have the support of the community, and that was determined by the planning [and zonning] commission.”
Despite the vocal opposition, a handful of residents support the decision out of the hope that a police presence may aid in reducing crime occurring in that area.
Due to the mounting opposition, Council Member Amy Pattillo made a motion to postpone action on the rezoning, which was seconded by member Sara Hutson.
“As I have been looking at this issue, I am fearing that residents are opposed to the zoning application as we’ve submitted it,” Pattillo said.
The motion passed with a 3-2 vote. Council Members Buck Shapiro and Gavin Massingill voted in opposition, with Massingill saying it is unlikely more time will change residents' opinions.
Council also voted unanimously to delay action on purchase of the property until the regularly scheduled July meeting.