Charter school location site denied by Planning and Zoning Board - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Charter school location site denied by Planning and Zoning Board

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

The Calcasieu Parish Planning and Zoning Board denied the Lake Charles Charter Foundation zoning request to use the property on the northeast corner of Nelson Road and Ham Reid Road for the Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy.

A sign is up on the property claiming it as the "Future Home" of the charter school, but after Tuesday night's Zoning Board meeting, the Charter Foundation will have to look elsewhere for the school.

The board voted seven to three against the agenda item. 

Many residents were concerned if the charter school is constructed on that property, traffic on Nelson Road will become an issue.

"Commercial development and schools don't mix," developer Dub Henning said.

"The best thing for them is to find another area and I'm sure there are other areas to build this school," Lake Charles resident Mildred Monceaux said.

And after the board's decision was made, Lake Charles Charter Foundation President Gene Thibodeaux said the panel made a mistake.

"The board obviously decided not to listen to the experts, not to listen to their own staff recommendation, but to listen to the appeals to fear," Thibodeaux said.

He said it's unfortunate for the Parish and the students, but he believes the school still has a potential home on the Nelson Road site.

"Let me assure you and the public," he said. "Our school will continue. It will continue at that very location or at another location that's acceptable to everybody."

Thibodeaux said the Charter Foundation Board will regroup and decide whether or not to appeal the decision made by Planning and Zoning.

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