By Bob Uphues
A Cicero-based child care business is looking to open what would be its fourth west suburban location in Brookfield inside an Ogden Avenue commercial property that most recently housed an auto parts store.
The owner of Let's Play Child Development Center has applied for a special use permit to allow the daycare center to operate out of the building at 9109 Ogden Ave., formerly Carquest Auto Parts. The site is in the village's C-1 commercial district.
The Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the special use permit application on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in the council chamber of the Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave.
Any member of the public wishing to provide input on the application can do so at the hearing or in writing prior to the hearing.
Whatever recommendation the Planning and Zoning Commission makes will go to the Brookfield Village Board for final approval or denial.
If the daycare center is allowed to locate on Ogden Avenue, its existence would trigger a 100-foot buffer for any adult-use cannabis dispensary that wished to move to that area.
"It would create another zone on Ogden Avenue where a dispensary would be prohibited," said Village Planner Elyse Vukelich.
School and daycare centers already prohibit a dispensary from locating on the west end of Broadway Avenue, on part of the 3400 block of Maple Avenue and a portion of the 3700 block of Grand Boulevard.
The roughly 6,100-square-foot, one-story building will need to be completely built out to accommodate the daycare center, said Vukelich, who added no work would take place unless the company received the special use permit.
According to the application on file with the village's Community and Economic Development Department, the pole sign on the property no longer conforms to the sign code and will either have to be brought into compliance or be removed completely.
Let's Play Child Development Center presently operates three locations – one in Cicero and two in North Riverside. The business' website states that it serves children from 6 weeks to 12 years old and provides "a variety of child developmental activities that focus on reading, writing, fine motor activities, math and science, language building skills and art activities."
All three locations operate Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. While it's unclear how many children the Brookfield location might serve, Vukelich said the building's capacity would allow up to 78.
Children arrive in the morning between 6 and 9:30 a.m., according to the company's application. Parents also pick children up at different times throughout the day.
"This is done to alleviate traffic congestion that is caused by having a set arrival and/or dismissal time," the application states.
Because there is no parking on Ogden Avenue in front of the business and because the village does not want vehicles pulling up onto the public parkway, Let's Play Child Development Center is in the process of working out an arrangement to rent 11 parking spaces in an existing off-street lot at 4111 Park Ave.
Parents can also use existing public parking spaces on Park and Elm avenues and walk their children to and from the location. The school also has the use of a driveway located between the former auto parts store and Merrick Animal Hospital, at 9115 Ogden Ave. Vukelich said the business planned to use that space for employee parking.
The location does not provide any onsite outdoor recreation space, as required by state law. However, Let's Play Child Development Center reportedly is seeking a waiver from that rule due to the proximity of Ehlert Park, just two blocks to the south.
"They would make field trips to Ehlert Park," Vukelich said.