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Permits requested for school expansion and shopping complex

Mount Bachelor Academy is set to expand once again, and a retail/office/post office complex is planned for Powell Butte

   When they meet next week, the Crook County Planning Commission will be asked to approve a new shopping complex for Powell Butte and a new dormitory at Mount Bachelor Academy .
   The conditional use permit history for Mount Bachelor Academy goes back to late 1976 when a permit for a resort-type facility on the property was approved. That facility was never built, but in July, 1982, approval was granted for a youth camp at that location. That approval was modified several times, but the camp was never constructed.
   Late in 1988, site plan approval was granted for a private school on the property to accommodate 60 students. The next summer a permit was granted for construction of additional buildings on the property to accommodate 35 more students. Once again, in the spring of 1992, a permit was approved for expansion of the school to house 35 additional students and seven non-resident staff members. The latest request is for a dormitory to house 20 students.
   According to the planning staff report, the only serious question appears to be off-street parking. Students at the academy are not allowed to have cars, but the 20 additional students will, the staff pointed out, result in a demand for additional parking needs for parents and visitors.
   Parking isn't an issue with the request to allow for a retail store/office/post office complex in Powell Butte. The site, on the corner of Highway 126 and the Powell Butte (Alfalfa) Highway, is currently occupied by a post office and a residence. If the permit is issued, these will be removed. A retail store was formerly on the property.
   A total of 31 off-street parking spaces are part of the proposal, including two handicapped spaces. The applicant, Eric Calvin, proposes to build a 3,400 square foot store, a post office and two other offices.
   The proposed convenience store is to have a drive-through window for the sale of coffee. Landscaping of the property will cover more than half of the site when completed. The previous commercial business had gas pumps, but the new proposal does not include the pumps.
   Questions suggested to the commission by the planning staff include possible sign and lighting limitations, adequate parking, setbacks and whether the proposed drive-through is an appropriate use of the area.
   These two permit requests will come before the commission when it meets, Wednesday, July 11, at city hall.