Planning Commission approves new Liberty Ridge site planThe new Liberty Ridge Elementary school project came before Woodbury Planning Commission last week.
By: Riham Feshir, Woodbury Bulletin
The new Liberty Ridge Elementary school project came before Woodbury Planning Commission last week.
Commissioners on May 7 approved the plan with a few changes made to assure safety during peak drop-off and pick-up times.
District 833 submitted the plan for a conditional-use permit for the Liberty Ridge Elementary School Site 2.
The application was to request an expansion to the existing building from 10,000 to 22,000 square feet.
Since the property was first approved by City Council as a neighborhood commercial center in a residential area, a conditional-use permit was required.
Mike Vogel, assistant to the superintendent for operations, said the new building will be a “satellite” school for kindergarteners, a growing population at Liberty Ridge.
He said buses will generally pick up and drop off students at the main Liberty Ridge building.
Planning Commission Chairwoman Nancy Remakel said she was concerned about the safety of the students “dodging out and dodging in” both buildings.
“It’s a lot of cars and a lot of parents,” she said, adding, “These are pretty impulsive little people.”
Prior to approving the permit, commissioners amended some of the conditions to emphasize that the district must set an operations plan to “ensure the impacts to surrounding uses are minimized during peak times.”
Loren Solfest, an attorney representing AKW Properties LLC, which owns an adjacent property to the new Liberty Ridge site, said the project will violate another condition of the permit.
He said the district has not obtained any modifications to the parking easement that AKW has and is moving forward with the project anyway.
The company owns a parking lot and is the landlord to Stepping Stones Early Learning Center. By adding the new Liberty Ridge site, 15 stalls will be eliminated and 23 spaces will be restricted in the bus loading zones, Solfest said.
City Planner Eric Searles said staff was advised by the city attorney not to comment on the issue after they received a letter explaining AKW’s concerns. The Planning Commission suggested the two parties meet to resolve the parking shortage problem.
“We of course hope to have more discussion,” Solfest said following the meeting. “But it has to be resolved because my client has property interest rights.”
The Liberty Ridge expansion is expected to open in the fall.