HUBER HEIGHTS — The application for a change of use to utilize the former LaMendola Elementary School as a private residential school by Concept I Academy LLC has been withdrawn by the applicant. This would have been a major change to the development plan.
Assistant City Manager Scott Falkowski told the Huber Heights City Council Monday night that the city had received a letter from the applicant stating the withdrawal of their application. He told the Courier that letter was received Friday night.
The application originally went to the Planning Commission on May 12 and received a 4-0 recommendation. The application received discussion at the Public Works Committee prior to going to Council with one resident speaking against the proposal.
At the June 8 City Council meeting, the application received a lengthy public hearing with opposition and many questions asked by local residents of Tari Darr, owner and Director of Administration and E. Jake Decker, owner and Director of Operations. There was also a discussion about the definition of a school and whether Concept I Academy LLC met the definition of a school per the zoning code.
The city received a legal opinion from Scott Liberman of Altick & Corwin as special council after City Attorney Alan Schaeffer removed himself from this discussion as someone from the firm he works at is representing this applicant. Liberman gave his legal opinion that the application of Concept I Academy LLC did not meet the definition of a school on Tuesday, June 16 prior to another Public Works Committee on this subject that night.
Falkowski told the Courier that the applicant understood that they did not meet the definition of a school and that they would have to apply a different way with a different application and a different way of running their school or the possibility of rezoning to a different zone or look for a different location. Falkowski said that as of Monday, they had not made a resubmission.
“From the city, we just wait,” Falkowski told the Courier. “It’s completely off the books and we would wait for them to apply if they decide to apply. It would go back through the process again of Planning Commission and then Public Works meeting and then a public hearing at City Council.”
According to Falkowski, if Concept I Academy LLC had not withdrawn its application, Council would have had to address the case based on their legal council and either vote for or against it or table it.
Council member Tyler Starline told the Courier that he was pleased to hear that the applicant decided the course would be to withdraw and then come back when they had reassessed and represent.
“I think it is good for the city as well because it allows us to address when they bring their proposal back that okay, does this work,” said Starline. “The last thing I would want to see is the city facing a possible appeal which was discussed… where it would potentially cost taxpayer money, even if the city successfully defended the appeal…By them withdrawing and re-presenting later, it will help protect everyone, the applicant and most importantly, the city.”
Concept I Academy LLC had the winning big of $19,000 on the building when it was put up for sale by the Huber Heights City Schools Board of Education. The school was seeking a maximum of 32 students who are males between 16 to 18 years of age and would attend Sinclair Community College in addition to receiving some training at the facility.