The Jefferson City Board of Adjustment unanimously approved a conditional use permit Tuesday for the Jefferson City Public Schools to operate a second high school.
Jefferson City Senior Planner Eric Barron said public schools are considered conditional uses for every zoning district and the school district needed a conditional use permit to proceed with finalizing the planning and construction process.
"It is a type of use where there is a higher than normal possibility for impact on surrounding properties so it's a use that deserves an extra layer of review in order to ensure any negative impact by the use on surrounding properties are minimized," Barron said. "If they're not, then the board would have to consider any conditions should be considered in order to help minimize any negative impacts on surrounding neighborhoods."
The school district purchased the 115-acre property on the north side of Mission Drive and includes a three-story building, multiple parking lots and practice fields. It plans to begin construction in 2018 with the second high school planned to open for its first students in fall 2019.
Barron said the school district has tried to minimize the impact on surrounding properties by placing the school near the center of the property and adding a 35-foot buffer yard between properties along Portabello Place Drive and a new city street.
Jefferson City and Cole County are working on a development agreement to construct a new street linking the Rolling Hills Drive roundabout with Creek Trail. The estimated $1.5-million project would not begin until posibily 2019.
The permit does not need the Jefferson City Council's approval, Barron said.
He added the school district and city will have other actions to address later, including bringing a subdivision plat to the Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission. A subdivision plat would include plans for utilities and development of the property.
Jefferson City voters approved raising the district's tax levy in April to fund a bond issue to build the second high school and renovate the current one.