The Jefferson City Planning and Zoning Commission approved a new Montessori school Thursday night, sending it to the Jefferson City Council for final approval.
Property owner F&F Development requested rezoning 3328 Bennett Lane from an RU Rural zoning district to a Planned Unit Development and finalizing a subdivision plat. As part of the rezoning, they submitted a preliminary and final PUD plan which calls for transforming the former church building into a Montessori school.
City Transportation Planner Alex Rotenberry said F&F Development wants to separate the church building from the surrounding property and transfer it to Jesse and Melissa Steck, who would convert it into a Montessori school.
Steck Properties would own the property and Woodland Montessori School, a not-for-profit organization, plans to lease it.
The school would have a minimum of 24 children, ranging from 3-6 years old.
Montessori learning was founded by Dr. Maria Montessori and involves hands-on learning that includes the four main aspects: math, language, sensorial and practical life.
Melissa Steck, who has been working at a local Montessori school for 15 years, said she would act as director of the school and have a board of directors overseeing the school.
"It's always been my dream to start my own not-for-profit with the Montessori program," she said.
She hopes to open the school in July 2018.
Along with the proposal, city staff recommended assigning an underlying C-O Office Commercial underlying zoning district within the PUD plan to provide flexibility for future use of the land if needed.
The City Council will hear and vote on the PUD Plan, rezoning and final subdivision plan on Jan. 16.