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Hailey Planning And Zoning Says No To New School

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By Joey Martin

Hailey, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) what was a topic of controversy now has a decision.

At this point, a new charter school will not be built in Hailey.

This, after residents of the China Gardens and Sherwood Forest Subdivision voiced their concerns on Monday.

Joey martin for Idaho’s First News takes us inside the debate.

This is the blueprint of the proposed Syringa Mountain Charter School in Hailey.

But, residents say it's not the school that's the problem.

"The concept of the school is great... the location is lousy."
Said local Hailey resident.

"Syringa Mountain came to the city several months ago . they came to me asking basic questions like zones... where can a school be allowed we went through all of the vacant parcels in the city that might be appropriate for a school. They narrowed it down to about a half a dozen or so and finally narrowed it down to the one site.
Said Hailey Community Development Director, Micah Austin.

Representatives from the school spent more than an hour outlining the details of the plan.

From structure size, parking, traffic to community availability.

"It's just not a very desirable thing for a neighborhood I think we can all agree from the people that are here on behalf of the neighborhoods. It is big... I don't want to the say that the design is ugly, but it's not esthetically compatible with the neighborhood."
Said local China Gardens Resident.

"It is a very small piece of property... there will be a lot of traffic increase in the neighborhood... right in front of my house."
Said local China Gardens Resident.

But not everyone was against the idea; a few residents felt a compromise could be reached.

"All of these problems have solutions... they do. We just need to look at the solutions, lay a track and go down that path."
Said local resident in favor of the school.

In the end, the final decision was left in the hands of the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission.

"After hearing public comment and deliberating amongst themselves voted to deny the application. The vote was unanimous... all four commissioners were present and they denied it based on several city standards that they quoted and sited in their motion to deny the application.
Said Austin.

So what does the commissioner’s decision mean for syringe mountain school?

"This is not a denial for the school. It's not yes of no for the school... its yes or no for this particular site."
Said Austin.

For this particular location... It's a dead end.

Which for many residents is a welcomed sigh of relief.

But, for the school, it's back to the drawing board.

Following the presentation we attempted to ask Syringa School officials about their future plans.

But they denied the opportunity to comment.


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