Sadly, we have to report that the Great Falls Public School District, with a vote of 7 to 0, effectively decided to demolish the historic Hi School Store (Campfire building) at 1925 2nd Avenue South to make room for a small surface parking lot. With unanimous support of your elected school board trustees, the district’s administration can execute the buy-sell agreement dated 1-17-18 for $100,000 and move forward with their ill-advised attempt to solve the parking problem at Great Falls High School. (see my article, “Solutions Anyone”)
According to Superintendent Lacey, “Given the parking issues at GFHS, GFPS will continue to look for other properties to purchase” Tammy’s Top Ten on Tuesday Feb 20, 2018. I guess you had better hope your neighbor doesn’t sell his property to the District if you don’t want a parking lot next door.
“According to Superintendent Lacey, “Given the parking issues at GFHS, GFPS will continue to look for other properties to purchase” Tammy’s Top Ten on Tuesday Feb 20, 2018. I guess you had better hope your neighbor doesn’t sell his property to the District if you don’t want a parking lot next door.”
Since the property is zoned R-3 Single Family Residential it will have to be rezoned to allow a parking lot, as would all future residential properties purchased by the District. This would certainly seem to follow the accepted definition of ‘spot zoning’, which has been held to be illegal in most places. Would this be something the City Commission would be likely to do? Admittedly, the process to rezone the property is just starting and it has many hurdles to clear.
How will this, and other off-campus mini parking lots be paid for? Again, Lacey says; “Bond proceeds will be used for this purchase as well as any related improvements to it”; Tammy’s Top Ten on Tuesday Feb 20, 2018.
Does the District have a plan “B”?
On March 6th, 5:30PM, Lacey will make a presentation to the City Commission Work Session detailing why the school district would like to acquire approximately 1/3 of Kranz Park; almost 1 acre of park land, for a significantly larger surface parking lot. Maybe time for a little Joni Mitchell; “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”. Again, a zoning issue, an environmental issue and an economic issue.
Judging from past discussions led by previous Park and Recreation Director Joe Petrella, Kranz Park is not, and never will be, on the auction block. So it would seem there will be an uphill slog for the school district’s desired acquisition of Kranz Park. So much for plan “B”.
Unfortunately, the school district is steadfast in its rejection of structured parking as a solution to the parking problem at Great Falls High School.
Please let the GFPS School Board trustees know how you feel by sending them an email. Your single email will reach all seven board members.
And please weigh in on the E-City Beat Poll right now: