The Mesa homeowners who opened up a halfway house for sex offenders, have been ordered to cease and desist all operations, according to officials at the Maricopa Planning and Development Department.
“We have verified a zoning violation for operation of a group care facility in a single family residence, without proper zoning entitlement,” said Darren Gerard with the county.
Gerard says the couple, Deborah and Steve Schmidt, never applied for a special use permit to operate the facility.
“We are sending them a notice in order to comply, ordering them to cease and desist the operation or obtain the proper zoning requirement by January 16,” Gerard said.
In order to obtain the special use permit, the couple would have to go through a legislative process, with public input.
Residents, equipped with signs that say "Protect our children. No sex offenders in our neighborhood," rallied Saturday to protest against the halfway house.