Saying the town council “departed from the essential requirements of law,” Bright Futures Academy Charter School Inc. filed an appeal to overturn the town’s denial of the school’s special exception request to open in Seminole Plaza.
The town council on April 10 unanimously denied the school’s request to open in the 5-acre shopping/office plaza on the west side of U.S. 1.
Town officials’ contentions that Bright Futures would generate excessive noise and traffic did not give school officials a clear path to meet to win council approval, according to the 38-page appeal filed May 10 in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.
“The town made a decision to disregard evidence and create a moving target by making up a parade of horribles without any evidence to back up their contentions,” said Andrew Baumann, a West Palm Beach attorney representing Bright Futures.
Juno Beach Vice Mayor Bill Greene declined comment, saying the appeal is ongoing litigation.
The school planned to open this summer with about 800 students from pre-K to eighth grade.
Opponents predicted excess loud noise from traffic and possible danger to students from nearby U.S. 1 if the school opened and later expanded. Proponents said the charter school would give parents choice of where to send their children to school.
The town’s planning and zoning board voted March 18 to recommend denial of the special exception request.
Bright Futures operates three campuses, two in North Palm Beach and one in Palm Beach Gardens. Total enrollment is about 740, according to Bright Futures chief executive officer and founder Kendall Artusi.
Juno Beach is required to file a response to the appeal. A three-judge panel of Palm Beach County Circuit Court judges will review the appeal and make a decision. Either side can accept that decision or appeal it to the Fourth District Court of Appeal.