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Rendering of the North School project

The city of Hermosa Beach and the Hermosa Beach City School District recently agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding to address traffic and other issues related to the North School Project.

Under state law, any legal challenges to the North School final Environmental Impact Report, which was approved at the Jan. 9 school board meeting, would have had to be filed by Feb. 11. They reached a “tolling agreement” earlier this month and delayed the deadline for the city to challenge the FEIR until Feb. 28.

At its Tuesday meeting, the City Council voted 4-1 to approve Mayor Stacey Armato to sign the MOU. At a closed session meeting Wednesday morning, the school district voted unanimously to move forward.

The city and school district will now discuss issues including pedestrian and vehicle travel routes and the drop-off and pick-up of students since the EIR “estimated that as many as 55 percent of the students at this school may be dropped off at locations other than the two designated zones on 25th Street and Myrtle Avenue.”

According to the city staff report, the city and school district will prepare, by March 31, 2020, a Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan, Recommended Vehicle Travel Routes Map and a Pedestrian School Route Plan. A Transportation Management Program will also be completed by Aug. 31, 2020.

Environmental Analyst Leeanne Singleton said there will be at least two community meetings held to discuss the process of the North School project.

The only no vote was by Councilmember Hany Fangary who supported Measure S, which was passed by voters in June 2016 and funds $59 million to rebuild the school. But he felt they needed more than two weeks to work out a more detailed MOU.

“The fact that the school district has money to build a school is great, I think it's great for the city, it's great for our entire community,” Fangary said. “But having money to build a school doesn't change the fact our city has concerns about the proposed construction project and raised some issues and concerns about public safety, traffic, access of our emergency vehicles to our residents and visitors.”

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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