Before City Council today: An ordinance that could change school zoning.

The San Angelo City Council met this Tuesday to further discuss granting elementary and middle schools zoning rights in residential areas.
"They don't have to come in and get a special approval each time they want to expand" AICP Director Jon James said.

Before the year 2000 schools were allowed throughout the city in any district. After that year schools were no longer allowed in residential districts.
School districts had to come to the city anytime they wanted to build an elementary school or expand a classroom.
After reviewing that ordinance the planning and development services department found that in order to help accommodate growth, the city ordinance needed to be changed.
The proposal allowing elementary and middle schools in residential areas.
For grades 10 and above to be allowed they would have to meet certain conditions.
The reason for the proposed changes all comes down to the traffic it would create around the school and homes.

"The way the ordinance was drafted was to separate kindergarten through nine grade with separate regulations and that's primarily because kids k-9 don't drive and so the parking standards and traffic standards would be different for those elementary and middle schools” James said.

If a school is already in the middle of a neighborhood protection would apply for those residents.
Major focal points include lighting, parking and a more efficient way to drop off students.

The majority of the City Council members voted yes on the School Zone first reading ordinance and the final approval will be on June 20.