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New Ordinance Could Limit Where Public and Charter Schools are Built

Posted at 10:14 AM, Jun 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-16 08:25:16-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- The city is hoping to detail where schools, including private and charter schools, can be built in Tallahassee.

The ordinance will be introduced at the June 17th meeting and they are expected to set the date for date for the first public appearance to be held on July 8th, 2015.

Read the proposed ordinance here

Background from the City of Tallahassee

In the last several years there have been many changes to the way in which children are educated in the City of Tallahassee.  In addition to traditional public and private elementary and secondary (middle and high) schools, there are now many small private schools and some larger charter schools located in our community.   Based on recent trends, there will be more such facilities in the future.

The existing regulatory mechanism for siting schools is primarily through the Public School Element in the Comprehensive Plan and the resultant Interlocal Agreement.  However, the Comprehensive Plan Public School Element and the Interlocal Agreement is not applicable to private schools and charter schools.


The proposed school siting ordinance will incorporate key school siting and development standards into the zoning code, so that they apply to private and charter schools.  In addition, the proposed ordinance updates the allowed uses in specific zoning districts to consistently allow multi-grade schools to locate in all zoning districts where any type of elementary or secondary schools are presently allowed, except high schools will continue to be prohibited in low-density zoning districts (R-1, R-2, R-3, and R-5) outside of the Multi-Modal Transportation District (MMTD).

The proposed ordinance will also prohibit elementary and secondary schools in Residential Preservation (RP) zoning districts.  Elementary and Secondary Schools can still be developed in RP zoning districts through the Planned Unit Development (PUD) process, and existing schools can be expanded.  Further, existing schools will be granted conforming status.