Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Charters -- The Gift That Keeps on Giving

I wondered how long it would take to involve the Property Rights Ombudsman in the Alpine charter school controversy. The Daily Herald reports this morning that Craig Call has indeed been brought into it, under the provisions in the bill passed this year's legislative session for an advisory opinion.

"A state ombudsman is now weighing the question of whether the charter school's single-building site plan was vested before the (Alpine) moratorium began, meaning the new ordinance (setting standards for charter schools) would not apply to the site plan," the story said.

The way charter schools are locating and conducting themselves is raising a lot of eyebrows. I talked with staff at North Salt Lake today, and they told me about a charter school that has started constuction west of Redwood Road on a dead-end street, across from a sewage treatment plant, surrounded by a new industrial development, and just to the west of the Legacy Parkway alignment, where heavy construction will be taking place for the next couple of years putting in an overpass for the Legacy. This is an ideal location for a school? North Salt Lake officials say they are frustrated in that they cannot apparently do anything to prevent the school from going in at that location.

The stories are racking up, and will surely come back to roost in the near future.


At 11:12 AM, Blogger ARCritic said...

Well it appears that the Alpine planning commission and council have approved the site plan so the Ombudsman may not have to do anything.

As for citing a charter school, this is what was in today's Daily Hearld article:

"What assurity do the citizens of Alpine have that all sites within Alpine city have been properly vetted, compared and analyzed like the law says?" Watkins asked.

"We don't have the ability to use eminent domain," Way said in response. "We've taken a lot of heat for not coordinating with the city. We've coordinated to death with the city. We have a lot of people saying 'Why don't you go on this property or that property?' Because people won't sell, that is why."

The charter school business is a business and the kids will go where the school is built. But the school will go where it is feasible and economical to build it.

There was one in Lindon that wanted to go into an industrial/commercial area but the city didn't want it there because that was their designated SOB area. If the school went in no SOB would be allowed within a certain number of feet and it would mean they would need to find another area of the city to designate as their SOB area.

Since school districts have ED they can simply take the land they feel is the best place.

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Wilf, you have been linked.

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