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Champaign Council Rejects Judah Christian School Annexation Plan

Champaign city council members have rejected an annexation agreement that would have allowed Judah Christian School to relocate.

The plan called for the re-development of 50 acres just outside Southwest Champaign, at Kirby Avenue and Rising Road. The private school on Prospect Avenue has sought a new location due to space concerns.

Council member Marci Dodds said she has nothing against Judah Christian, but since it is a not-for-profit religious school, she said it does not provide any property taxes for the city, so it will not reimburse for emergency services. The proposed location is not served by Champaign-Urbana's Mass Transit District, and Dodds said heavy traffic will cause wear and tear on the roads. The land was originally zoned for single-family homes.

Council member Tom Bruno said he is troubled by the pressure on Champaign schools to locate in the same area when a new Central High School is built.

"Facilitating the movement of any school to the very periphery of town, out in the cornfields, where every single kid will arrive by private motor vehicle for years, decades, maybe a century to come - just bothered me." Bruno said. "We need to continue to send the message that the community ought to be more compact and contiguous, and we ought to build things in the heart of town and re-build things things in the heart of town rather than just sprawl."

The land was originally zoned for single-family homes. The council tied 4-4 with one member abstaining, but the annexation failed since a two-thirds vote was required.

Categories: Education, Government, Politics