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Council Supports Special Exception Request by the Children Guild’s Preschool

At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the Council supported Special Exception (SE) request by the Children’s Guild, Inc to allow the replacement of a 50-child daycare center with a 120-child pre-school within the existing College Park United Methodist Church at 9601 Rhode Island Avenue (northeast quadrant of the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and Hollywood Road).

The property is zoned R-55 which allows private schools on property less than 5 acres as a Special Exception. The Planning Board hearing date is scheduled for March 4, 2021.

The traffic and parking issues were two major concerns we heard from the surrounding residents and the members of the NCPCA (who supported the project). As much as we support this wonderful new amenity in the neighborhood, we are also sensitive to the concerns our neighbors have about its potential negative impact.

Our staff and attorneys have worked with the Children Guilds and the Church administration to address these concerns in the best way possible. Regarding the traffic issue, the school said they will consider implementing a staggered drop-off and pick-up plan of the children attending the school, to reduce the volume of traffic during any given time. Here are 2 conditions regarding the traffic and parking in the Declaration of Covenants between the City, the School, and the Church.

CONDITION 3: Prior to issuance of the use and occupancy permit for the pre-school with 120 students, Children’s Guild shall prepare a traffic access plan (“Plan”) that is acceptable to the City for the dropping off and picking up of students. As part of the Plan, Children’s Guild shall provide that all drop off and pick up of students will take place by means of a one-way loop, to be reflected on the Special Exception Site Plan, from 50th Avenue, through the southernmost parking lot. In the event that the Plan is changed, the Applicant will notify the City. Upon request, the Applicant will provide a copy of the Plan to the City. In the event a complaint is received by the City about the operation of the Plan, the Applicant and City agree to meet and confer with respect to an appropriate solution.

CONDITION 4. Prior to issuance of the use and occupancy permit for the pre-school for 120 students, Children’s Guild shall prepare a parking plan (“Parking Plan”) acceptable to the City that accommodates parking on-site for the school and other permissible activities, if any, that may take place during the hours that the school is open. The Parking Plan will include designated spaces for school faculty, staff and visitors, while also accommodating spaces for permissible activities that take place in other parts of the church buildings during school hours. In the event that the Parking Plan is changed, Children’s Guild will notify the City. Upon request, Children’s Guild will provide a copy of the Parking Plan to the City. In the event a complaint is received by the City about the operation of the Parking Plan, Children’s Guild, the Church and the City agree to meet and confer with respect to an appropriate solution.

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