Washington Township residents fight daycare plan
By Jodi Weigand
Published: Saturday, June 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Residents of Meadow Highlands Drive in Washington Township are fighting a proposed daycare center in their residential neighborhood.
Patrick and Katherine Green want to open a 24-hour daycare center licensed for up to 80 children from infants to age 12 at a home located on four acres at 223 Meadow Highlands Drive.
The couple owns Grandma's House child care center in Apollo.
They said the second location would primarily serve people working shifts at the nearby Westmoreland Business and Research Park, which is mostly in Upper Burrell.
“The whole purpose to enhance the community,” Katherine Green said.
Township supervisors delayed their decision on whether to allow the business because of concerns about adequate parking until July 1.
The dozen residents who attended Thursday's supervisor's meeting say they're concerned about increased traffic, noise and a business operating near their homes.
“It's nice up there; it's peaceful, it's quiet,” resident Neal Ciorra told supervisors. “That's the way we want to keep it.”
However, supervisors are limited in the reasons why they can deny a request because the township doesn't have zoning. It uses a Land Use and Subdivision Ordinance to govern decisions.
That means supervisors cannot deny the request simply because the daycare would be in a residential area, said Solicitor Wes Long.
He cited a case in which a judge overturned another township's decision to deny a request based on concerns about more traffic. That township also had a land use ordinance and no zoning.
But if the Greens are unable to allay the township's concerns about adequate parking, the supervisors could deny the request.
“The parking condition is a legitimate issue,” Long said, “and that needs addressed.”
The Greens' original plans call for spaces for staff and an additional five spaces for parents to drop off children.
The daycare likely would not have more than 35 to 40 children on site at one time and would have staggered drop-off times, but supervisors said at least 25 spaces are needed.
Parents also would be strictly prohibited from parking on Meadow Highlands, supervisors said.
Last month, Meadow Highlands residents presented a petition with 20 signatures of those who oppose the daycare.
Katherine Green said they haven't yet bought the property and plan to ask the seller for a one-month extension on the contract to resolve the site plan design issues.
“We don't want to do anything to damage our community,” she said. “We live there.”
Residents said they've hired an attorney and are likely to pursue the issue in court if the supervisors approve the business.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Charges against police chief have Springdale mayor crying foul
- 4 men to stand trial for home invasion, shooting in Lower Burrell
- Leechburg biology teacher earned students’ respect
- South Butler School District receives $22,600 grant for school security
- Suspected Tarentum heroin dealer remains on the run
- New Kensington man charged with scrap metal theft
- Student artwork covers walls of Harmar Township Municipal Building
- 3 more charged in Harrison beating
- A-K Valley wrestlers advance at state championships
- Tarentum robbery victim chooses not to shoot suspect; 2 in jail
- Deer Lakes schools installs touchscreen system to upgrade classroom technology