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Beacon Academy, the Montessor high school that hopes to open in Evanston next fall, has chosen a site on Davis Street as its planned location.

The Davis Street Land Company building, at 622 Davis St., in the center of this image from Google Maps

Beacon Academy, the Montessor high school that hopes to open in Evanston next fall, has chosen a site on Davis Street as its planned location.

School officials are scheduled to appear before the city’s Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee Wednesday to seek a special use permit for the property at 622 Davis St.

The school had been considering renting upstairs space either at the Davis Street site or in a building at 715 Church St.

The private school is also seeking a loan guarantee or some other form of financial assistance from the city to cover part of its startup costs.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. No to Jewish school, yes to this with financing?

    How can the city go to court to fight over a changing zoning to allow a privately financed Jewish day school opening in an industrial zoned part of town, and then consider changing zoning AND giving loan guaranteeds to this private school?

    Who on city council's family or friend wants to attend this school? I can't believe there is any other reason that this is even being considered. Providing financial security to an elite private school risks taking money out of programs for needy people in this town. Shame on you for even discussing this as a possibility

    1. School should not teach NIMBYism

      "How can the city go to court to fight over a changing zoning to allow a privately financed Jewish day school opening in an industrial zoned part of town, and then consider changing zoning AND giving loan guaranteeds to this private school?"

      The City was entirely correct to prevent the Jewish school.  What that school did was purchase land that THEY KNEW was zoned industrial, and then tried to take it off of the tax rolls after they purchased it.  

      I don't know whether loan guarantees for this new schools is a good idea….but it is definitely a different situation.  This organization is following proper procedures, and there might be some benefit to bringing people downtown and filling up some empty upper-level space downtown (which would not be good retail space).

      My concern is that the NIMBYs will use this school in the future to advance their evil NIMBY agenda.  Suppose that a restaurant wants to open nearby..the NIMBYs willl come out and say  "No liquor licenses near schools!   Think of the CHILDREN!  Blah blah blah"

      If this school is given permission to open, there must be a "no-NIMBY" clause that prevents this school , its parents, Judy Fiske, and others from using this as an excuse to prevent development.

    2. Fundamentally different animals.

      While you read "change zoning" in the SPARC agenda, I quite clearly read the words "special use permit," which is quite a different animal.  For further explanation of the difference between the two, let me quote myself quoting the _______ Day School court ruling, http://goo.gl/dQwRSv here:

      "But Vineyard's application for a special use permit and Joan Dachs' application for a map amendment are not comparable for a number of reasons. The two requests for zoning relief are fundamentally different. Vineyard's application for a special use permit made at the time when churches were allowed as special uses in I2 districts is not the equivalent of Joan Dachs' request that Evanston amend its zoning map to change the zoning designation of Hartrey from I2 to C1. One requst is tailored to the specific situation of the applicant and leaves the parcel's zoning designation intact, while the other alters the character of the parcel for all purposes." [again, page 42 of the ruling linked above. Emphasis mine.]"

       

      Nice conspiracy theory of crooked straw-men you've set up for yourself to fight, though.

        1. Point of clarification

          Beacon will be renting the property — so assuming the property is owned by a for-profit company, the city will still receive property tax revenues on that site.

          1. Can get complicated

            It appears there is some possibility that a landlord renting to a non-profit can get a property tax reduction. It apparently doesn't happen too often, but some aldermen have expressed concerns about it in this case.

            Potentially, I suppose, city aid might be conditioned on not going for the property tax break.

            — Bill

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