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Zoning sidetracks effort to start daycare

 


Two women proposing a licensed day care center on Grand Coulee’s Main Street found out why it is said “You can’t beat city hall,” but they’re not stopping their effort to start a daycare.

Andrea Marconi and Angela Feeley, who told council members that they wanted to start a “much needed” licensed day care center in the building at 227 Main Street, currently occupied by Button It graphic design, ran into a zoning problem and could only get a promise that the city would look into it.

Under city zoning, a daycare center is not among allowed uses for a “central commercial” zone in the city.

It was jokingly noted that one could locate a daycare center along the highway, but not on the city’s Main Street.

Mayor Chris Christopherson assigned the issue to council members David Tylor and Tim Alling, who sit on the zoning and license committee.

Tylor said Monday that the two haven’t had time to meet, and noted that it would be difficult to amend the zoning code.

“We have to be careful and not put ourselves on the slippery slope in making changes,” Tylor said. “If we start doing that, then where do you stop?”

Marconi explained to the council at the March 19 meeting that there isn’t a daycare center in the four-town area and that one is much needed for people who are employed by the hospital, school district and Bureau of Reclamation, as well as others.

City Clerk Carol Boyce said the council would have to change the language of the zoning ordinance in order for a daycare center to establish itself on Main Street. She said daycare center would have to be inserted into the list of uses for the present zoning.

A Facebook page was started the next day to gather support for the childcare center. The “Supporters of a Grand Coulee Daycare Center” page asks people to “like” the page and spread the word.

“We are not convinced that they see the need for this in the community,” the initial post states.

The page had 64 likes as of Tuesday night.

 

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