By DeJanay Booth

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — School could be in session in downtown Traverse City.

City commissioners voted 4-3 to make a zoning change that would allow private schools as well as colleges in certain downtown areas in the northern Michigan town.

“I’m very much in favor of bringing more diversity to the downtown for social benefits, for economic benefits and for the health of our entire community,” said Commissioner Ashlea Walter.

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The Children’s House, a Montessori-style school, wants to locate a middle school in a downtown building that’s mostly residential, the Record-Eagle reported.

Some residents in the building questioned whether school kids would be an appropriate fit.

Brian McGillivary, who voted no, had concerns about traffic when students are dropped off or picked up, among other issues.

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Jean Derenzy of the city’s Downtown Development Authority said the group supported the change as a way to promote downtown as a “healthy, integrated cultural center.”

City zoning rules don’t apply to public K-12 schools, the newspaper said.

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