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Vermont City Nixes Plan to Use Hostel as Family Shelter

The city of Burlington has rejected a plan by the owners of a hostel in Vermont's largest city to use their Main Street facility as a "wholesome" shelter for homeless families during the winter.

Officials say the steady flow of backpackers and other traditional users of the 48-bed hostel dries up in the winter and the Burlington Hostel has closed in past years.

The local anti-poverty agency, the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, says there's a need for housing for homeless families.

But the Burlington Planning and Zoning Department has nixed the proposal, saying the hostel isn't equipped to accommodate that use.

The Burlington Free Press reports the hostel's owners, Brian and Olga Damler, have appealed the zoning board's decision.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.