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Vote to rezone the Shattuck Middle School property fails

Shattuck yard sign
Posted at 5:35 PM, Dec 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-09 18:43:11-05

NEENAH (NBC 26) — A few months ago, the proposed sale of Shattuck Middle School made waves in a close-knit Neenah neighborhood.

The Neenah Joint School District is selling the property as the district moves into a new school next year.

"They had one offer on it, one of the contingencies on it was the rezoning of this 27-acre parcel to a traditional neighborhood district,” said Neenah Mayor, Jane Lang.

Neighbors formed Facebook groups and planted yard signs to voice their opinions against the sale.

"Our biggest concerns about the rezoning was that they were looking at changing it to a TND (traditional neighborhood district) which is a previously unused zoning in the city of Neenah, and it left us with a lot of concerns and questions,” said Megan Florek, a Shattuck Neighborhood Resident.

"The amount of transparency within the council and our group, we're concerned. But now going forward I think we have the opportunity to bring everybody together," said Judd Stevenson, a Shattuck Neighborhood Resident.

An Oshkosh-based developer planned to redevelop the 27-acre property for residences.

Some residents against the proposal created a petition, and shared their thoughts:

"We support the development of single-family housing for Shattuck Middle School because ownership creates a stake in the neighborhood while rentals create transient living."

Last night, the city council voted against the rezoning of Shattuck.

"That vote failed by a 5-4 vote,” said Mayor Lang.

As for what's next for the soon-to-be-vacant school and land:

"So, it's not moving forward at this time. Essentially, that puts it back in the hands of the school district because it's the property that the school district owns and they're the ones who can entertain offers on that property,” said Mayor Lang.

A statement from Jon Joch, NJSD Chief Financial Officer said, “The outcome of the vote was disappointing, and the property will remain available for purchase.”

Community members would like to be included in the process moving forward.

"Are we going out there and looking for developers… absolutely we are. But we're going to bring everybody to the table so everybody can have a say,” said Stevenson.