October 7, 2009 10:04:00 AM
Starkville school officials, voicing concern over traffic issues, voted to protest a zoning change near the high school in a meeting Tuesday night.
The board also handled fundraisers and decided to make a change in how these are run next year.
Superintendent Judy Couey informed the board that a section of undeveloped land adjoining the baseball field will be considered for rezoning in a public hearing Oct. 13. The property is southeast of the intersection of Yellowjacket and Eckford drives.
The owner has requested the zoning be changed from R-1 to R-3A, making it possible to have as many as 40-50 homes on the property rather than 20. There is one entrance and exit to the property, and this is near a curve on Yellowjacket Drive.
The board considered the matter in one other meeting without taking action. This time, they directed Couey to write a letter that would be placed in the information packets of each Planning and Zoning commissioner registering their opposition to the change.
The board primarily is concerned about traffic issues being created by the additional vehicles trying to empty onto Yellowjacket Drive and the development''s proximity to the high school''s sports facilities.
Pickett Wilson made the motion to direct Couey to write this letter, and Keith Coble seconded it. The motion passed unanimously with all board members present at the meeting.
In other business, the board approved a long list of school fundraisers, but did it with the stipulation that Couey develop a stronger set of evaluation criteria to be used next year when fundraising decisions are made. Coble led this effort.
"We need a process in place so in the future, we make sure our fundraising efforts don''t detract from the teacher''s focus in the classroom ... and it doesn''t become a burden on the community or parents," Coble said.
He said the amount of time and organization needed to arrive at some of the fundraising goals did not seem like a good use of teachers'', students'' or parents'' time. The board passed the motion asking Couey to tighten up fundraising criteria for schools.
The board also handled several other matters of mostly routine business before going into closed session to handle student discipline matters and a personnel matter. They will meet again at 6 p.m. Nov. 3.