BROOKLYN PARK (AP) -- Mary Jo Copeland's plan to build a children's home was rejected by the city council in this northern Minneapolis suburb after members refused to rezone the property she wanted.
Copeland announced the complex eight months ago. Her faith-based programs for the homeless, such as Sharing and Caring Hands, have given her a large following in Minnesota.
Copeland wants to build the home for children whose parents abused or neglected them or whose parents were in crisis and couldn't take care of them. The proposed 192-bed facility would be the largest children's institution in the state.
The council voted 5 to 1 late Monday night not to change the zoning on the 35-acre property that was once a golf course, ending Copeland's efforts to build in Brooklyn Park.
"Our high-density housing has been a real issue for us," said Council Member Kathy Draeger. "To add to it doesn't make sense."
Zoning issues, not the merit of Copeland's plan, dominated the late-night hearing, which attracted about 250 people.
Copeland's previous attempt to build the home in Brooklyn Center was scrapped because of opposition from city officials and residents.
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