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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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City Of Peshtigo Will Have New Daycare

Issue Date: April 25, 2019

The City of Peshtigo Plan Commission met on Thursday, April 18 for the sole purpose of discussion and consideration of postponing a request of a Conditional Use Permit to Michelle Peters of Kids R Us University for a daycare at 120 Ogden Road in Zoning District I-2 pending review of permitted and conditional uses for daycare facilities in all zoning districts of the city. The building currently houses Peshtigo Fitness.

George Cowell, committee member, stated he thought it be best if they get legal opinion of the City Attorney before discussing. City Attorney Dave Spangenberg commented "The location is zoned I2 and is not a spelled out use or conditional use for daycare centers. Daycares are normally designated in residential areas".

The B-2 District permits uses and structures under Article V as Personal and Business Service Establishments. Cowell said, "We would have to determine if under B2 District if a daycare would be considered a service establishment". He added, "In my opinion it doesn't fit our zoning and we would have to do a zoning change. The plan would be a request from this committee to council to change the zoning. This is an anomaly with daycare centers normally in residential areas".

Mayor Cathi Malke commented, "B3 doesn't allow for daycares either but there is at least one daycare in B3". Cowell responded with, "We need to put a platform in place to do that and put the different types of licensed daycares in ordinances that we may want to have them in".

Spangenberg stated, "An offer to purchase is an interest that is a warranted request for a conditional use permit". Malke responded with, "I am in no way an attorney, but I interpret dog grooming as a personal service and that is zoned in I2 and what is more personable than our children? There are several businesses in that area, Parents could drop their children off close to their work and I do believe a daycare is a business".

Cowell responded, "It is a listed use somewhere else just not in I2". Attorney Spangenberg then said, "It's all in interpretation, times have changed but the book has not caught up to those changes. Go to the defined district first, it is a matter of interpretation". "It is fairly straight forward under the current structure, it doesn't allow for that and a conditional use permit would need to be applied for which could be about a month process if it has to go to Council".

Jeff Peters, Co-owner of Kids R Us University of which Michelle Peters owns, said, "I do respect Spangenberg's position and the process but I do tend to agree with Mayor Malke and when it comes down to the English language, other cities consider daycares as a personal service business and they are providing a service. That doesn't change the fact that it is a personal service business".

Cowell replied, "What's recommended is a comprehensive plan that deals with future goals". Peters said, "There is a waiting list for childcare in the City and your own comprehensive plan is saying there is a need for daycare." The recap is if daycare is not a personal service, what is it? A dentist is a personal service, so why isn't a daycare? Around the corner is a Headstart business and is a government use and it is a daycare".

Michelle Peters then spoke, saying, "I have three daycare centers busting at the seams and I am traveling back and forth between Marinette and Peshtigo four times a day and I would like to serve Peshtigo families within their own community. The daycare would be licensed for 60 to 70 children and would also be able to provide some early headstart services as well".

Cowell asked, "If the process would take four to six weeks with the language changes, etc, would that still be do-able? Peters said, "As of May 1st, our offer to purchase is null and void. Cowell, then said, "Then you would need an extension on the purchase agreement".

Committee member, Don Belonga said, "I am in favor of the daycare, but I think we should do it the legal way by going through zoning and do it properly".

Cowell responded, "There is a need for more daycare, we know that. The Mayor can set a special council meeting within 24 hours and there are things we can do to speed up the process".

More discussion was had back and forth of how to proceed but with most of the comments supporting the daycare center, the committee made a decision to postpone the request for a conditional use permit. They then went into a Public Hearing to consider granting a conditional use permit to Michelle Peters of Kids R Us University for the location of 120 Ogden Road.

Peters then detailed her plans for the building stating she would utilize the current building, make a new entrance area, add an additional parking area, add six foot high fencing per licensing code, add a kitchen, partitioned walls and will make it very presentable. The business will bring at least 10 new jobs to Peshtigo and the hours of operation will be from 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with three to four staff members there starting by 6 a.m.

The Plan Commission then closed the Public Hearing Meeting and went into discussion and/or action on the request for a Conditional Use Permit.

From previous discussions with the Plan Commission in the earlier session of the meeting along with further discussion in the Public Hearing, a motion was made to grant a conditional use permit for a group child care center licensed for nine or more children to Michelle Peters, Kids R Us University for a location at 120 Ogden Street. The daycare hopes to open in early June of 2019.

After the conditional use permit was granted the committee made a motion to discuss and consider permitted and conditional uses for daycare facilities in all zoning districts of the city as established in Section 52 and provide recommendation to Council as recommended by the Planning Commission.

Cowell went through detailed information of definitions of daycares and different districts they should be allowed in. The Committee reviewed the definitions making deletions and additions accordingly and agreed for Cowell and Spangenberg to work together on proper wording, including zoning and ordinances changes as necessary before submitting to Council for discussion.


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