- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The Fairbanks North Star Borough is taking action against the Fairbanks City Council after the council turned down a school district’s request to establish a home-schooling center in a city neighborhood.

Superior Court Judge Bethany Harbison will decide whether the city council acted appropriately when it denied the Chugach School District’s permit request, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (https://bit.ly/2oVEgKC) Tuesday.

The district wants to turn a former bed-and-breakfast into FOCUS Homeschool, according to the report.

The council’s denial happened about a year ago when it decided the district failed to show there was a public need to operate in the location and determined the use for the land was improperly classified. Residents in the neighborhood where the proposed home-school center would have been located sent several traffic and noise complaints to the borough Planning Commission.

The commission ultimately approved the permit, but residents appealed and the item was taken to city council, which reversed the commission decision.

City councilors failed to properly interpret and apply borough code, the borough assembly argued in its administrative appeal in state court.

“Where the Planning Commission and the city of Fairbanks BOA disagree on the interpretation and application of zoning laws, the body with no experience, the city of Fairbanks BOA, is entitled to no deference,” assistant borough attorney Wendy Doxey wrote in a court brief.

Judge Harbison will decide whether the borough code was properly interpreted. She could also send the case back to the planning commission.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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