Site Selection – Spring 2012

The process of site selection has been lead by the research and location efforts of a four person Site Committee in cooridination with the school’s five member Board of Trustees.

Selecting and obtaining a new location for a school is an incredibly challenging process. Very little land is zoned as “public facility” and just about every location outside of this special zoning requires a “special use permit” or some such adaptation to local zoning which typically includes neighbor approval, traffic studies and so forth, all things that add significant cost and time to the process.

Schools are generally not allowed in commercially zoned locations nor on land that is zoned for agriculture. What is a school to do that wants to farm? And just not any school but a Montessori farm school that’s independent and non-profit (not a charter, church, nor publicly funded school). By the way, Charter schools can circumvent local zoning (a state law gives them this power) and churches have special privileges too. It’s not a coincidence that many private schools either rent from or are operated by churches. Therefore, the majority of our current and short term options are church related as well.