Neighborhood Revitalization and Development Committee, November 2018

November 30th, 2018  |  Published in Observer Reports

Neighborhood Revitalization and Development Committee
Nov. 14, 2018

The issue of in-home daycare operations has come to the forefront this year due to controversy surrounding in-home daycares in the city. The mayor and City Council have asked that staff look at the city’s regulations concerning in-home day cares and explore possible changes in the city’s ordinances. In addition, Council has referred the matter to the City Planning Commission (which met on Nov. 13) and the Neighborhood Revitalization and Development Committee (NRDC). The goal is to discuss this matter further.

Background:
There are two types of daycares that may operate within homes in the city: Type A and Type B. Their operations are described below:

Type A Daycare Home

  • A day care with 7-12 children at one time in an owner’s primary residence
  • Permitted only as conditional uses in Single Family zoning districts, requiring Planning Commission and Council approval
  • Must have a license from the state

Type B Daycare Home

  • A day care with 1-6 children at one time in an owner’s primary residence
  • Type B’s are a permitted accessory use in Single and Two-Family zoning districts, and a conditional use in multi-family and apartment districts
  • No license or registration is required by the state or city.
  • Only Type B daycares in multi-family and apartment districts require Planning Commission and Council approval.

In-home daycare facilities are regulated separately from Home Occupations under the city’s ordinances, and are not subject to the Home Occupation regulations.

Both Type A and Type B in-home daycares must comply with the requirements listed in the city’s ordinances. The requirements include the following:

  • Operator must live there.
  • Must be at least 500 feet from another in-home daycare on the same street or nearest intersecting street.
  • Can’t have another daycare adjacent to it.
  • Are subject to annual inspection by Housing, Health and Fire Prevention.
  • Any outdoor play area must be fully enclosed by a fence, wall, or hedge of at least 3 feet in height.

The city has anywhere from 16 to 20 Type B in-home daycares (because these day cares are not required to register with the city, this number is an estimate). The city did not have a Type A in-home daycare center until the City Planning Commission approved the Price Loving Arms Day Care (see below).

Action Taken by City Planning Commission and City Council
The CPC approved the Price Loving Arms Day Care at 3293 Aberdeen Road on Sept. 6, 2018, with six conditions. Council subsequently held three public hearings and voted to approve the Type A childcare home with an additional three conditions. The nine conditions are:

CPC Conditions:

  1. Administrative review will occur after one year. It will include compliance with all conditions, with city code and with Conditional Use Permit standards; and neighbor input.
  2. All pick-up and drop-off of children must occur in the driveway.
  3. A continuing obligation to comply with the city noise ordinances.
  4. Correction of all interior housing inspection violations in spaces used by the children before the Type A daycare can begin operation.
  5. Outdoor play hours are limited to between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  6. Requirement to maintain an Ohio Type A child daycare home license and otherwise maintain compliance with local and state requirements.

Council Conditions:

  1. Limitation on weekend daycare to allow a maximum of six children on Saturday and Sunday.
  2. Maintenance of a 6-foot solid wood fence.
  3. Maintenance of a violation-free property and compliance with other housing regulations, including lead-hazard regulations.

Council also passed a moratorium for Type A child daycare homes on Oct. 22, 2018, for six months. This allows time for the city to consider any code revisions. The process going forward includes review by both the Neighborhood Revitalization and Development Committee and the City Planning Commission. The NRDC will review and provide input to the City Planning Commission. The CPC recommends to Council any code amendments, which could include additional requirements or the possible elimination of Type A childcare homes.

Summary of Comments from NRDC Meeting:
Because the purpose of this meeting was only to discuss recommendations and concerns, there wasn’t a vote and the next step will be for the City Planning Commission to consider the listed points (highlighted comments were emphasized the most during the meeting).

  • Clarification that this is the first Type A daycare center ever registered in the city and there are at least 16 Type B daycare centers. However, this number cannot be verified because Type centers are not required to register with the city.
  • There are a number of Ohio cities that explicitly or effectively prohibit Type A daycares. They include Beachwood, Cleveland Heights, Lakewood, University Heights and Columbus.
  • Both Type A and Type B daycare centers are subject to annual inspection by Housing, Health and Fire Prevention but since Type B daycares are not required to register with the city, the inspections are done on a volunteer basis by the operator. Also, the city no longer has a Health Department, so these inspections will need to be outsourced.
  • In-home daycares are not considered home-based businesses. Because of complaints received by the city concerning in-home daycares, this matter is being discussed.
  • There’s concern about the point at which an in-home daycare facility affects the quality of life of others in the neighborhood.
  • There is a growing need for in-home daycares. Many families prefer this option over commercial daycares.
  • Legitimate concerns over in-home da cares include noise levels, traffic concerns (drop-off and pick-up) and “illegal activity.”
  • Many families consider in-home daycares vital for their ability to maintain their jobs and education pursuits.
  • The lack of registration and health inspections for Type B daycares are very serious concerns that must be addressed moving forward in this process.

Eileen Anderson

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