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School board discusses rezoning of Logan’s gravel pit area

October 25th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Heidi Vaughan

LOGAN – Future zoning decisions could have detrimental impact on local schools. Will the Board of Education be heard by the Logan Municipal Council?

“The city needs to be sensitive in the planning process,” said Superintendent Marshal Garrett at Wednesday’s school board meeting. “Almost 56 percent of the city’s housing is in rentals, it’s hard to keep a sense of community in these areas.”

For the last four to six months it has been proposed that the gravel pit area just north of Utah State University should be rezoned for more multiple family and student housing. This land was originally zoned for the purpose of single family homes, once the current use of the area as a gravel pit was completed.

Board members discussed the effects the decision would have on the future of the school district and the entire city. “The long term health of the school district is also part of the long term health of the city,” explained Garrett.

The trend affecting transiency in the schools is that young families often rent starter homes or apartments. Their children begin school in one district but move to another district to finish, because as the families grow they move north or south where they can build or purchase homes that fit their needs. The gravel pit area is the last large piece of land available in the area to be used for single family housing, Garrett said.

There are six elementary schools in the district and to a degree each one has a challenge with transiency. Most affected by the decision on the land would be Hillcrest Elementary. Currently 40 percent of the school’s students are bused in from the south end of the district.

The board’s conception is that if there were to be a housing option, it would allow for the sustainability of a neighborhood. This would be a great benefit to those families that have children who attend the school, and have a desire to live closer.

The Logan Municipal Council and school board meet together once a year to collaborate on each group’s goals and aspirations. Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m. the school board will  host a meeting with the council to exchange openly the pros and cons of the proposed zoning.

“The city council has been very good at having dialog and mitigating with us,” Garrett said. “We have a great working relationship.

“We just want to be sure that we all understand the positions we hold and the reasoning behind them. As we plan for what land is still available we applaud the city for taking back single family units. We need to promote in the valley that Logan is a great place to live. that we have partnerships that allow unique experiences that other cities may not have the ability to offer. That it is a great place to raise your families all the way through high school.”


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