New Castle City Council approved the first of two steps last night to allow Highland House to relocate.

The lawmakers adopted an ordinance to vacate a portion of Grant Street between Highland Avenue and East Street.

Council must yet act on changing the zoning of the area from R-2 residential to C-1 commercial. It is expected to consider the zoning change in August.

Highland House, a halfway facility for recovering alcohol and drug-dependent women, has an agreement to buy the property from the Greater New Castle Development Corp. for $65,000.

Attorney David T. Mojock, who represents Highland House, said at council’s work session this week that the project is estimated to cost $1.4 million. The facility is located just north of the proposed site at 312 Highland Ave.

On another zoning matter, council granted a conditional use request of Cascade Riverplex to extend the outdoor seating and serving area for a jazz and blues bar on South Mill Street down to the Neshannock Creek.

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