Bay Haven weighing options after suprise vote

By: Meagan O'Halloran Email
By: Meagan O'Halloran Email

School officials at Bay Haven Charter Academy are looking for a back-up plan after Lynn Haven city commissioners rejected a zoning change that would have allowed one of their schools to move into the old Sallie Mae building.

After Bay Haven bought the old Sallie Mae building, the school had been fighting the city for a zoning change until last week, when the city's planning commission approved the change.

But at Tuesday night's city commission meeting, a split vote of 2-to-2 killed the motion, and stopped the approved land change that would have allowed a school to operate in an industrial park.

Mayor Walter Kelley's vote would have been the deciding factor, but he missed the meeting due to a family emergency. Tuesday's vote was very different from the 5-0 vote city commissioners made back in February, allowing the zoning plans to move forward.

"That rests with them individually. Those were the votes they made in February and the vote they made last night, so that rests with them, not with me" says Dr. Tim Kitts of the Bay Haven Charter Academy.

Dr. Kitts says the school is exploring several other options to re-locate its North Bay Haven Charter Academy, some of which still include the old Sallie Mae building. Either way, the school is set to re-open in a new location by 2012 or 2013.

The Bay Haven Charter Academy purchased the Sallie Mae building for just over a million dollars and is currently paying about $125,000 a year in upkeep while they try to get approval to move in.

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