City grants temporary permit to Bingham Academy

BLACKFOOT — The city of Blackfoot has issued a temporary conditional use permit to Bingham Academy.

The permit gives the charter school 30 days to apply for a regular conditional use permit to continue to use its current facility, a former theater housed in a strip mall.

The temporary permit is at least a temporary truce in a lingering clash between the city and Bingham over school facilities. Blackfoot city planner Kurt Hibbert said the extra 30 days presents a “win-win” for the the city and Bingham.

“All the city wanted was for the school to be compliant with the local land use ordinance,” said Hibbert, according to the Bingham County Chronicle.

Bingham administrator Mark Fisk would not say how the temporary permit impacts the school’s pursuit of a regular permit from the city.

“We are working on a statement,” Fisk told Idaho Education News.

Citing noncompliance with city land use code, the Blackfoot Planning and Zoning Commission last month ordered Bingham to discontinue further use of the facility. Bingham decried the city’s order, saying it is under no legal obligation to apply for a conditional use permit.

Bingham typically enrolls around 100 local high schoolers. The school’s 2019-20 start date is Aug. 19.

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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