April 30, 2005
Able Body Labor’s quest for a permit on a labor center in west Mesa will return to the City Council on Monday, but additional restrictions on the permit have not quelled the concerns of some neighbors.
JoAnn Moore, who lives about a half-mile north of Able Body’s office at 851 E. Main St., e-mailed a letter of support to city officials in January but has since joined some of her neighbors in opposing the center.
She said the firm’s conduct has soured her on the idea, with workers and vehicles lingering on the street even though the owners had stated during public meetings that all traffic would be kept in the back.
"They can’t even keep their stipulations now, before they’ve been placed on them," she said.
She also worries Able Body could import the day labor market that now flourishes along Broadway Road, despite assurances that the company requires its workers to show proof of residency and provides transportation to job sites for those who need it.
"Able Body is going to attract the day laborers, and I don’t want those men wandering through my neighborhood to get to Able Body," she said.
Mesa planning director John Wesley said the Floridabased company caught the eye of a code compliance officer last fall because workers are allowed to wait for work on the premises, unlike at a typical temporary employment agency. Transportation to work sites is provided.
The code compliance department determined that center needed a council use permit as a day-labor center, but it hasn’t tried to shut it down because it applied for the permit, he said.
The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted against allowing the center to continue, following the original staff recommendation.
The council was more receptive to the plan at the April 4 meeting, though members requested an automatic one-year review and stipulations regarding litter and loitering be added.