Principal: We want to be good neighbors

DAVIDSON – With a lawsuit behind them, Davidson Green School officials hope to work together with neighbors who may have concerns about their building being located near homes.

An appeal stating the school’s location went against the town’s planning regulations for the village infill zone was dismissed April 21 by Mecklenburg County Superior Court Judge Linwood Foust, who ruled based on a technicality.

The lawsuit, brought on by school neighbor John R. Burgess last year, was aimed at the Davidson Board of Adjustment, which made the decision approving the school.

Davidson Green School, board president Jill Jacobson and founder Jennifer Jakubecy were also named defendants.

Foust’s ruling states it was dismissed because lawsuit should have been directed toward the Town of Davidson, not the board of adjustment.

N.C. General Statutes state that the respondent named in the petition should be the city that oversees the decision-making board and not the board itself. Because of that, the appeal is no longer valid.

Burgess said he is disappointed in the ruling.

“I was doing what I thought was the right thing for my property, my neighbors and the town of Davidson,” Burgess said.

The case can be taken no further because the time has run out. All appeals have to be made within 30 days after the board’s decision, which took place last October. The case had gone to court in January but was continued.

“We are not pursuing it any further,” Burgess said.

Burgess said he is grateful to his lawyer and doesn’t fault him for what happened and also doesn’t harbor any ill will toward the Davidson Green School.

Jakubecy said she is pleased with the decision and hopes to work together with the community.

“But that doesn’t change our commitment to being good neighbors,” she said of the dismissal. “If a neighbor has concerns, we should work together. One of the missions of the school is to promote peace in the community.”

While noise and traffic were two items mentioned by residents prior to the school’s approval as potential impacts of having the school there, Jakubecy said she has been told neighbors haven’t seen an effect on the traffic.

“We don’t produce much noise other than joyful children laughing,” she said. “It’s not like we have a band outside. If anyone has any concerns, we want them to come to us so we can be responsive.”

Davidson Green School, a private nonprofit, opened last fall for kindergartners through fifth-graders to offer a more individualized education with an emphasis on the environment as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.