Supervisors stall daycare plan

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Carson City supervisors want the city's planning commissioners to reconsider a rule requiring 500 feet between day cares.

In looking for a way to help a Roop Street day-care owner relocate, city supervisors decided Thursday that the 500-foot rule "doesn't make any sense," Supervisor Richard Staub said.

Supervisors deferred action on an ordinance that would have changed some definitions regarding day cares, and they deferred a decision on an appeal of a planning commission decision denying Carrie Henson a permit to move Little Tykes Daycare.

Supervisors were discussing a proposed ordinance change to rules that would have allowed commercial and residential day cares to be within 500 feet of each other as well as allowing them to be located across both arterial and collector streets instead of just arterial streets such as Carson Street or Highway 50. The ordinance was crafted originally to provide a way for Henson to move her business next door to her current location without violating the 500-foot rule.

However, planning commissioners deleted portions of the ordinance that would have allowed Henson to move Little Tykes from a house at 2109 S. Roop St., owned by Ron Gutzman, to her home next door. Planning commissioners previously denied her request for a permit to move next door only because of the 500-foot rule.

Staub said he didn't agree with the ordinance change as originally proposed because it would change city rules to "facilitate an exception to a situation that's occurred," rather than city leaders creating policies to be applied citywide.

"It's not in the purview of this board to make the kind of exceptions we're trying to make here," he said.

However, he said, considering all day care operators must go through a special use permit process, the 500-foot rule, added to city code by supervisors in the early 1990s, isn't necessary.

Mayor Ray Masayko agreed, questioning why 500 feet was a "magic number." He also mused that property along Roop Street in the future likely would be rezoned commercial, making moot the discussion about Henson's and Gutzman's competing day cares.

Gutzman's attorney, Chris MacKenzie, argued the ordinance without the planning commission modifications applied only to Gutzman.

Anyone else applying for a day-care permit would "be protected from having someone next door competing with them," MacKenzie said.

"They're being punished because they've been there longer," he said.

Henson pointed out that if she were located across the street from her current location, she could move even though it was closer than 500 feet. She nodded her head in agreement as supervisors decided to ask city staff to have planning commissioners reconsider the 500-foot rule.

Supervisors deferred Henson's appeal, with her concurrence, to wait two months for a planning commission decision.


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