Sausalito approves expansion of private school

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Sausalito city council unanimously approved an extension of the New Village independent school, despite noise complaints from a neighboring tenant.

The private school rents urban space on the Martin Luther King Jr. campus at 100 Ebbtide Ave. The lease amendment approved by council on Tuesday allows it to expand a preschool program to a rental room and use more outdoor space on campus.

The school has 120 students from kindergarten to eighth grade. Administrator Geoffrey Barnaby offered to use the rental room to expand it into a separate space from the main campus for preschool development for 3-5 year olds.

The school hopes to expand the program to 15 to 24 preschoolers by 2025. Capacity requires a minimum of 75 square feet of outdoor space, a fence at least 4 feet high, a sleeping area shaded area and cushioning material around the climbing equipment.

Lalla Carini, a teacher at the school, said staff wanted a more secluded and protected area for the children. She said any concerns about the noise “are actually going to be minimal”.

Nicolay Kreidler, a school board member and parent, said he lives nearby and enjoys the activities the school creates, saying MLK “was never meant to be a quiet space.”

“It’s alive and well and it’s flourishing, and kids are a part of it,” Kreidler said.

David Maisel, a photographer who has rented space on campus since 1994, urged the board to deny the school’s request. He said his studio would be affected by preschoolers and described loud incidents involving students and parents.

“The City has a responsibility to me, as a long-time and responsible tenant, to provide a
reasonably calm working environment, ”he wrote in a letter to the board. “I was an existing tenant at 100 Ebbtide for 15 years before New Village School arrived.”

Several board members said they had met Maisel or the school, or both.

Council member Ian Sobieski suggested creating a code of conduct specifying acceptable behavior on campus. He said that although the code is not imposed on anyone with an ongoing lease that is not to be renewed, “the code of conduct will deal with these kinds of situations, or at least provide a way to deal with them.”

Mayor Jill Hoffman said she did not want to reopen the school lease and terms. She asked to approve the additional space for the school, but to add a condition to ensure that the expansion “will not affect the enjoyment of other tenants … or the use of the common space” .

Sobieski did not agree that the lease should have limiting constraints when the children are outside.

“We talk a lot about incompatible uses,” he says. “We have a growing school on either side of a tenant who appreciates their quiet. “

“I hate to make it a zero-sum game,” he said, “but we’ve all committed to this and it doesn’t seem like there’s an obvious win-win outcome.”

When board member Susan Cleveland-Knowles suggested that the school regularly publish preschool schedules, Sobieski agreed to support the lease change.

Barnaby said the school was “hesitant” about restrictions on students’ time away from home, but was open to working with Maisel.


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