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When will a final decision be made about a proposed charter school in Ammon?

Rendering of Gem Prep Charter School at 3445 Greenwillow Lane in Ammon. Its appearance is subject to change. | Courtesy Jason Bransford
IDAHO FALLS – The fate of a proposed charter school in Ammon remains uncertain following a public meeting last week.
Gem Prep Charter School, which has seven locations throughout Idaho, recently bought a parcel of land at 3445 Greenwillow Lane and was planning to break ground on a 45,000-square-foot-building in September.
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But during a city planning and zoning meeting on Feb. 7, the eight-member commission was unanimous in its decision to recommend denial of a conditional use permit. Though the proposal met the comprehensive plan requirements, board members determined it wasn’t a good fit for the community. The main concern revolved around the high volume of traffic on Greenwillow Lane and Ammon Road in an area where there are already a large number of schools.
The commission arrived at its decision after listening to public comment for more than two hours, most of which was not in favor of adding another school. The board made its recommendation after deliberating for about 20 minutes.
RELATED | Ammon Planning & Zoning recommends against building new charter school on city street
The city council will have the final say, but it’s unclear when it will be addressed. At last week’s planning and zoning meeting, commissioners said it could be decided during a city council meeting on Feb. 15. But city administrator Micah Austin tells EastIdahoNews.com that’s not the case and it’s hard to say when it will be addressed.
Much of the planning hinges on whether the mayor wants to hold a public hearing, Austin says. If he does, the council will have to set a date and is required by law to notify the public at least seven days before it happens.
If the mayor chooses not to hold a hearing and address it at a regular city council meeting, a decision could be made sooner.
Gem Prep CEO Jason Bransford says they’re willing to work with the city to mitigate any traffic concerns. He told us last week they want to do everything they can to make it work for the community.
“We recognize that people brought up traffic concerns and it’s never our intent to make a problem worse,” Bransford says. “Whatever the solution is, we want to be good neighbors and help the community be a better place.”
If the council ultimately decides not to approve the conditional use permit, it would force Gem Prep to sell the property and find another location.
EastIdahoNews.com will provide updates as they become available.
The post When will a final decision be made about a proposed charter school in Ammon? appeared first on East Idaho News.
Source: eastidahonews.com

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