The Henderson City Council didn’t get the chance to uphold the Planning Commission’s denial of a request for a dormitory at The Henderson International School at its meeting Tuesday because the appeal was withdrawn after school representatives heard what Mayor Jim Gibson thought of the project.
“I can’t see any reason for us not to follow the recommendation of the Planning Commission,” Gibson said.
The proposal, to turn the second floor of an original building at the Meritas-owned school at 1165 Sandy Ridge Ave. into double-occupancy rooms for up to 100 students, was denied by the Planning Commission at its Oct. 16 meeting. School representatives were appealing the decision to the council.
“This is the first request we’ve had for a boarding school,” Planning Commission Chairman Dan Shaw said in October. “I’m concerned this is being incredibly rushed.”
Gibson said that although he couldn’t be sure how a future council would vote, he thought that if Meritas repackaged an application for a dormitory at the school, it would again be denied by the Planning Commission and City Council.
The mayor also said he felt strongly enough to vote on the item without a restructuring of the project because he was not going to approve a request for a dormitory at the school.
Residents of the surrounding neighborhoods filled the commission chambers to oppose the request at the October meeting, and many returned to reiterate their opinion to the council. Gibson would have let one member of the audience speak if the request hadn’t been withdrawn, but he said he and the council had carefully read the Planning Commission meeting minutes.
The homeowners voiced concerns about traffic, noise, crime and what the students would do in their downtime because there are no movie theaters, stores or restaurants in the area.
A few parents of current Henderson International School students said they supported the project because of the benefit of learning in an international setting.
The Henderson International School will have to wait at least 12 months to file a new application, but representatives said they were not sure if they would.