City contemplates new parking rules for daycares

Location of expanded daycare sparks safety concerns for Barkman, but others say spaces much needed

New city rules look set to lay out just how much parking new childcare facilities will require to expand or set up shop.

The new regulations were developed after an application was made to expand a childcare facility in the Clayburn neighbourhood.

Going forward, new or expanded daycares will need one parking spot for every 10 children. The rules mimic those in other Lower Mainland communities. The rules also wouldn’t require parking designated for staff. Childcare facilities must employ one person for every eight children.

Council gave those rules, along with the proposal for an expanded childcare centre at the intersection of Laburnum Road and Wright Street, two readings and forwarded them to a public hearing at an upcoming council meeting.

Coun. Les Barkman, though, opposed the expansion of the Laburnum daycare, given its location.

“I see this as a huge safety issue for people who are going to drop kids off,” Barkman said.

The application for the childcare facility would see a 1,950-square-foot expansion added to an existing home. The facility would care for kids aged five and under, according to the applicant. While three new parking spots would be created, Barkman said he was worried about the traffic on Laburnum and Wright – particularly at school time. He suggested that some parents may drop off their children in other areas.

“I can’t support this strictly from the safety issue; any other place but this intersection,” said Barkman. He noted that he had supported other daycare proposals in residential neighbourhoods.

Others, though, didn’t take issue with the location, and Coun. Dave Loewen said such childcare centres are vital to help local residents.

“Adding daycare spaces in a residential area such as this is another step in making living more affordable for our residents,” he said.

The application was submitted alongside a petition of support with 23 signatures.

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