By Dustin Ensinger
Reynoldsburg City Council will consider a zoning variance that would pave the way for an after school learning center, but some members of the service committee believe the owner of the proposed business is using a loophole in the law.
Reynoldsburg City Council’s service committee agreed to move the request on to council’s June 16 meeting.
Melinda Williams wants to open the facility at 6513 Radekin Road. She currently operates a daycare center next door.
Some service committee members believe Williams is trying to expand the occupancy of her daycare operation with less oversight and regulation.
“To me it seems like nothing more than an extension of the current daycare center,” said Councilman Cornelius McGrady, who cast the lone vote against the measure.
He suggested Williams get the state’s approval for the business first.
However, Williams said that is not possible because a zoning permit is the first step in the process.
“Everything starts here,” Williams said.
The facility would be licensed to hold a maximum of 17 students, and none of them would be under age 5, according to Williams. It would be open until 6 p.m.
The current daycare facility has a capacity of 43 children.
Councilwoman Leslie Kelly said she, too, believes the facility will operate more as a daycare.
“For me, from 2:30 to 6 (p.m.), that sounds like a daycare,” Kelly said, adding she is concerned approving the zoning change would open the door to others who wish to expand their daycare practice.
City Attorney Jeb Hood said the committee’s role is not to judge whether or not the facility will be used as a daycare or a learning center.
“That is for (the state) to decide,” Hood said. “Not the city.”
The committee only has legal authority to deny the request in the event it would not be in harmony with other businesses in the area, it would bring additional traffic, it would be a detriment to the health, safety, welfare or morals of the area or if it has a major public service or right-of-way impact.
“Our zoning codes don’t allow you to decide what goes in there,” Hood said.
Water service deposits
The finance committee approved a change to the city’s water service deposit for renters from $50 to $100. The deposit has not changed since 1982.
City officials say the change will allow for more revenue to be collected from delinquent accounts as it transitions from quarterly to monthly billing.
The finance committee also approved a measure to allow the city to seek bids to replace the brick crosswalks on Main Street and construct a parking lot in Old Reynoldsburg.
“The crosswalks, just to be blunt, are a disaster,” said Director of Public Service Nathan Burd.
The $418,000 project will allow the city to replace the brick crosswalks with asphalt.
Pit bull ban
A discussion on the recommendation to overturn the city’s ban on pit bulls was delayed until the July 7 safety committee meeting.