Posted Jan. 28, 2015 @ 7:37 pm
Updated Jan 28, 2015 at 7:42 PM

ADELANTO — Geo Group Inc., a global for-profit prison operator, has decided to vacate plans to construct a 1,050-bed facility in the city, officials said Wednesday.

The Adelanto City Council was expected to vote to accept Geo Group’s request to drop its plans at a City Council meeting on Wednesday.

While several Geo employees turned out to the Nov. 19 council meeting to show support for the project, other community members voiced concern about the location’s proximity to the Adelanto Residential Airpark and Adelanto High School.

The new facility was expected to be constructed at the northeast corner of Holly and Koala roads. The Adelanto Planning Commission also voted 4-0 on Nov. 4 to deny a renewal of the company’s conditional use permit and development agreement. Commissioners were concerned with prisoners being released directly outside the facility.

“I’m really happy to hear that they’re withdrawing their application,” said Mario Novoa, an Adelanto resident and filmmaker.

Novoa organized a community town hall meeting on Wednesday before the council meeting to discuss the expansion of prisons in the city, including the recent approval of a 3,264-bed jail that would house overflow inmates from Los Angeles County.

“I did read in (Geo’s) letter from their attorney that they were reserving the right to proceed in the future if they wanted to,” Novoa said. “So it’s still on the table. I think when it comes to government that’s where residents can get overwhelmed. We have to look through all the legalese. And we elect people to do that as leaders but we also have to investigate and look further and not just at the talking points.”

A letter dated Jan. 15 from attorney Donovan Collier representing Geo Group Inc. states that the company “reserves its right to resubmit this request in the future.”

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