Lowell Observatory won't seek use of land for expansion

By Tom Maxedon, Associated Press
Arizona Daily Sun
Published: Monday, November 22, 2021 - 10:39am

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Lowell Observatory
Lowell Observatory
Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff.

After opposition from some Flagstaff residents and the City Council, Lowell Observatory officials will not seek the use of land for expansion near its facility, at least for the time-being. 

Congress restricted land use of 600 acres covered by forest near the observatory more than 100 years ago.

But Lowell sought to overcome that dictate recently in hopes of building an outdoor theater for the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival or a new facility to house the Translational Genomics Research Institute, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.

The 1910 Congressional restriction stipulates the land is reserved for “observational purposes,” according to the Arizona Daily Sun.

The City Council early this month voted 5-2 against sending Congress a letter of support for legislation that would overturn the restriction despite Lowell trying to work with stakeholders.

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