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A request by St. Martin’s School to vacate second street East between Highland Boulevard and 12th Avenue North has been rejected by the Watertown City Planning Commission on a vote of 4 to1.  Gary Steinmetz, who is on the building and planning committee for St. Martins School, shared some history with the Planning Commission saying they have been toying with the idea of an early childhood expansion project and that one of the options suggested was vacating Second Street East.  He didn’t know the extent of any studies done, but was aware the police did conduct some traffic counts last year.

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Steinmetz talked about the logistics of vacating Second Street.

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When asked why the city would give up a public street for private use?

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Planning Commission Chairman John Stonebarger says similar road vacation requests have been denied in the past.

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The school’s concern is, if they construct the early childhood facility across the road, it creates situations for lunch where children would have to come back to the main building and cross the street. The same is true for activities.  Darla Snow, who lives in the area, opposed the closure.

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Again, the request was denied on a four-one vote, although the school can still take their request directly to the city council.