Carson City child-care centers may get a new set of rules for where they can be located.
In light of controversy surrounding the proposed relocation of Little Tykes Daycare, city planning commissioners suggested in May that Carrie Henson, Little Tykes operator, ask the Board of Supervisors for a way around a city code demanding 500 feet between day-care facilities.
Although they were sympathetic to Henson's plea, planning commissioners denied Henson's request to move her facility to her home next door from her current site at 2109 S. Roop St.
Henson will appeal to supervisors on July 18 the planning commission's decision. Meanwhile, commissioners will meet Thursday to discuss changes to the 500-foot location rule that could help Henson's case.
Mayor Ray Masayko said he sensed a "great deal of frustration" from planning commissioners over the 500-foot rule. He suggested to planning staff they "move along smartly" if they planned on making changes to the day-care location rules so supervisors could have sufficient information to make a decision.
City Senior Planner Lee Plemel said planners are suggesting the 1993 law be changed to allow day-care facilities to be across collector streets, such as Roop, from each other. The current ordinance says day-care centers must be separated by an arterial street. While that doesn't help Henson's case, a second proposed change might.
Plemel is suggesting the ordinance be changed to allow commercial and residential facilities to sit side-by-side. Little Tykes, which operates from a leased home owned by Ron Gutzman, is a commercial facility operating under a special use permit in a residential area.
Under the proposed changes, Henson could move the day care to her home and operate it as a residential day care, one in which she would maintain her residence.
Henson said while she appreciates the effort to solve her problem, moving her business to her home as a residential day care "is a temporary solution," one she would ultimately have to fight to preserve the way she operates her business. She said her center is also a licensed preschool and her curriculum would have to be altered to allow her to remain in her home.
Henson said with the traffic in front of her Roop Street home reaching over 10,000 cars daily, she plans to ask supervisors to recognize that her neighborhood isn't residential, and therefore her relocation plans should be allowed.
"What we do here is a good thing," she said. "There is a lack of day cares in this area, so to close a good one is unacceptable."
IF YOU GO
What: Carson City Planning Commission special meeting
When: 5:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Carson City Community Center Sierra Room, 851 E. William St.