Members of the Brookfield Village Board over the next two weeks will have to determine whether they want to approve a special use permit for a daycare center at 9109 Ogden Ave.
The proposed daycare has already gotten a positive recommendation from the Brookfield Planning and Zoning Commission, including a recommendation to allow the business to use a 25-foot drive aisle immediately west of the building as a pickup/drop-off spot, requiring cars to turn south from Ogden Avenue down the drive aisle and then exiting through the alley to either Elm or Park avenue.
During a discussion of the proposal at the village board's committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 10, trustees were rightly concerned about the pickup/drop-off recommendation, worrying just a few vehicles in the queue could cause cars to back up onto Ogden Avenue, a heavily trafficked state highway, especially in mornings and evenings when kids are being dropped off and picked up.
Trustees were also rightly concerned by the time-honored, insane Brookfield tradition – since you can't park on Ogden Avenue -- of looking the other way when people decide to park on the public parkway along Ogden Avenue.
In the case of this particular building, which formerly was a car parts store, delivery trucks used the paved private property in front of the building as a parking area. Some trustees would like to condition the approval of a daycare on the erection of some sort of barrier to make sure no one uses the area in front for parking, but also as a traffic barrier.
This might be a good time to slow down and actually consider what that means.
What it means to us is that people are rightly concerned that a building on Ogden Avenue might not be the safest place to locate a daycare center.
Here's a little data on why people might be thinking such a thing.
A quick tour through the Landmark's online news archive has turned up six reports since 2010 of vehicles that have crashed into buildings on Ogden Avenue in Brookfield, several during daytime hours and some of them causing serious damage.
Just last week, someone driving home on a snowy night lost control while making a left turn from Ogden to Maple. The vehicle crashed into the gym at 9201 Ogden Ave. Luckily, it was 1:30 a.m.
Twice during October 2017, vehicles crashed into Ogden Avenue buildings during the day. A car slamming into Galloping Ghost Productions at 9221 Ogden Ave. knocked through part of a wall and sent bricks hurtling across the front room the building, fortunately unoccupied at the time.
That same month, a car crashed through the plate glass window of a car dealership at 9000 Ogden Ave., sending glass flying and injuring an employee sitting at his desk.
If Brookfield allows a daycare center at 9109 Ogden Ave. it had better require a meaningful barrier – one that enhances the streetscape to boot – against out-of-control vehicles that seem to have a habit of leaving Ogden Avenue and putting people in danger.