Plumas Charter takes school site building project in new direction

Faced with costs that could be more than double the amount Plumas Charter School (PCS) had budgeted for site preparation work to build a permanent home for its Quincy Site alternative learning center and administrative offices on 5.32 acres located at 129 Kelsey Lane, the school is moving in a new direction.

“Our budget was already tight, so we are not able to build there,” PCS Executive Director Taletha Washburn said of the project located off Quincy Junction Road near the high school athletic fields. “This is very disappointing, but we are exploring another option.”

The Plumas County Planning and Building Services Department granted the charter school a special use permit in July 2018 allowing the school to proceed with plans to develop and build on the parcel.

The special use permit was sought to allow construction of a 15,000-square-foot school facility on the Quincy property to serve 200 students and 15 staff. PCS owns the property, which was donated to the school.

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The charter school will retain ownership of the land, which is zoned Single Family Residential-7.

That designation would potentially have allowed construction of up to seven homes per acre and accommodated approximately 35 homes, with a subdivision permit. Receiving the special use permit made it possible for PCS to explore building on the property without a general plan amendment or rezone.

Charter is looking again

The PCS team is now looking for a new location to site their Quincy learning center and Washburn explained they are currently in talks with the Central Plumas Recreation and Park District (CPRPD) about a potential agreement for a CPRPD-owned parcel located at 1425 East Main St.

The process is at the exploratory stage on both sides.

“The new property we are looking at borders Pioneer Park,” Executive Director Washburn said. “There is a very exciting opportunity here to partner with the recreation district to provide more resources to our students and to provide support to their programs.”

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She added that PCS has submitted a new Special Use Permit application to the county planning department — the first step to see if the charter school will be able to use the CPRPD property.

Washburn said the school program is also in discussions with the recreation district regarding the sale of the property and a long-term use agreement for related facilities.

The CPRPD’s board of directors will meet in late August and again in September, according to district administrators, and the proposal is likely to come up on those agendas.

Plumas County Assistant Planning Director Rebecca Herrin said last week the county would have to perform an environmental review over the next few months. She added the planning department is currently circulating information to local and state agencies for review.

“We had to move on from the Kelsey Lane property,” Washburn commented. “We will also look to repurpose the Kelsey Lane location in the next year or so, to provide educational or recreational opportunities to the community. We are not yet sure what this will look like, but there are some ideas being considered.”

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Just a few brainstorming thoughts that have come up for the site include things like gardening, restoration projects or even mountain bike tracks — but nothing is firm at this time.

For more information about the project or the school site efforts, call 283-3851.