The Brooklyn Park Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of a conditional-use permit for a day care center at 7624 Brooklyn Blvd. at it’s July 12 meeting.
This day care would be located in the former Goodyear Tire location as part of the Zanebrook Shopping Center.
The day care firm – Angel’s Learning Center – has been operating out of Prince of Peach Church at 7217 W. Broadway, and is looking to expand. The existing building will not see significant exterior physical changes, if the proposal is approved. The two garage doors on in the front of the building will be removed and replaced with windows. A decorative black fence will be constructed to enclose play areas at both the rear and front of the building. Some wall lighting will need to be replaced to conform to current standards.
Generally, the commission was enthusiastic about approving the proposal.
“I think it’s a great use of this building. I think it will be re-purposed very well,” said Commissioner Steve Schmidt.
“It’s [an] appropriate use given the space,” said Commissioner Michael Kisch.
“I would like to state that, when I saw the original proposal, I initially had a number of concerns about safety of the children just being near a busy street and such, and was very happy upon reviewing the diagrams and such that a lot of my concerns were already addressed,” said Commissioner Michelle Mersereau.
The facility would include an indoor and an outdoor playground.
Along the north side of the building, there is a row of parking that city staff members recommend be used for pick-up and drop-off for parents, caregivers and children. While parking areas exist to the west, it is recommended that these be used for staff members and others, as it would require crossing a busier drive isle.
Parking was a minor concern for several commissioners. That is, some commissioners said they had safety concerns, since children would leave from the front of the building and would walk around the building to access the north-side parking isle. They suggested some sort of increased barrier between the walkway and drive lanes should be constructed.
“My only concern with that the kids get dropped off on that side, or if the parents are there to pick them up, and they’re coming out through that front door, and then around the corner, especially with this … driveway, being fairly busy. I’m a little concerned that somebody could unexpectedly dash out into the drive lane,” Schmidt said. “Maybe the fencing could be extended around just to keep them on the sidewalk and out of that drive lane.”
“My only questions or concerns that I had too had to do with the drop-off and pick-up coming out the front door and after some discussion, I think it could be easily done with some large flower pots,” said Commissioner Amy Hanson.
Kisch said a landscape plan should considered before the proposal comes before the city council.
The property is zoned village redevelopment, where all uses are conditional in conformance with the city’s comprehensive plan.
Child care would normally be a permitted use rather than a conditional use, if it were proposed in a different zoning district.
City staff members recommend approval of the proposal. It will be presented to the city council July 24.