BASIS Scottsdale approved by city council

Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-24 00:53:34-05

Hundreds of people showed up to have their voices heard Tuesday in response to the construction for a new charter school in Scottsdale.

Some neighbors have been saying for weeks that BASIS Scottsdale would be located in a busy area that doesn’t have infrastructure to support increased traffic and students walking to school. The school is slated to be built near 128th Street and Shea Boulevard.

"It's been a long couple of months, we have worked really hard," said BASIS parent and project supporter Sharon Madura.

BASIS announced at Tuesday's city council meeting that they have come to an agreement with some of those concerned neighbors.

A representative from the neighborhood organization formally withdrew their objections, assuming their agreement is honored.

This agreement, which comes after both sides sat down with the mayor of Scottsdale, calls for a number of items, including increased landscape screening, an entrance off of Shea, 50 additional parking spots, two start/stop times for classes, an enrollment cap, color coded parking passes, a limited number of events and the creation of a neighborhood relations committee.

The Scottsdale City Council voted in favor of the school plan on Tuesday night.

Other neighbors said only a handful of residents had changed their mind and most remained opposed.

The traffic concerns "will only get worse, why would you expose children to that willingly?" asked project opponent Tim Heinemann.

The project could have likely been built with or without City Council approval.  Zoning laws allow cities to decide what goes where within their boundaries, but zoning laws don't apply to public or charter schools.  A law exempting charter schools from local zoning laws went into effect in 2013.