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Zoning issues complicate Center sale


The sale of Center School is made more complicated by the issue of zoning.

The school district has made efforts to sell the vacated school and some additional acres, but so far no one has stepped up to the plate to make an offer.

The issue of zoning keeps coming up and any interested buyer isn’t certain how the property might be re-zoned.

Currently, the Grand Coulee planning commission is studying a wide range of zoning issues.

“We are not looking at a single property, but what needs to be done throughout the city,” stated planning commission Chairman Tammara Byers, who also sits on the Grand Coulee City Council. “It is my hope that we will be able to complete where we are going in re-doing our business district within nine months.”

“We want to be more business friendly,” Byers stated. “I am sure that Center School will be part of our discussions when the planning commission next meets. … We are not dragging our feet.”

The city’s planning commission next meets Wednesday, Jan. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the city council chambers.

“The city is a mess,” said David Tylor, another city councilmember who sits on the planning commission. “We have a lot of tough questions about our business district and trying to make it coherent. … It’s like a fly in the soup.”

Mayor Paul Townsend said last week that there are also monetary issues in the re-zone. “We are trying to find out how much re-doing our zoning is going to cost and who is going to pay for it,” Townsend noted. “When you start re-doing things, you have to consider residential areas that are close to businesses.”

The school district advertised for bids on the old school the second time with bids due Dec. 1. At that time, school officials indicated that there were three parties interested in the school, but no one bid on it.

The school board has since met in executive session to decide how to proceed, but those details have not been released.

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