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Zullinger woman wants day care center in residential area

April 15, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- A Zullinger, Pa., woman continued to plead with the Washington Township (Pa.) Supervisors on Wednesday as she asked them for permission to open a day care in her town house.

Jennifer Albright, who lives on Zana Court, wrote the supervisors a letter on March 17, saying she wants to open a day care but was told they are not permitted in R-2 (medium-density residential) zones.

"I'm begging you," Albright said when she attended the supervisors meeting on Wednesday.

Albright said she moved to the Avalon town house community from Maryland and rented a 1,600-square-foot, three-story end unit. A single mother of four, Albright said she made a living as a licensed child care provider in Maryland.

"My intention was to get re-licensed in Pennsylvania," Albright said.

Albright said she attended a licensing class in Pennsylvania. Afterward, a Washington Township zoning officer told her that day care facilities are not allowed in R-2 zones.

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Albright gathered the support of her landlords and asked the supervisors to change the zoning regulations. However, Supervisor John Gorman pointed out a section of the township code that states day care centers that serve "the educational needs of the community" are a conditional use in R-2 zoning.

He questioned whether that only references free-standing commercial entities or includes in-home services.

Township Manager Mike Christopher said the supervisors' legal counsel will have to review that section to see how it applies to Albright. A conditional use would mean day cares are permitted, but the supervisors can place restrictions on the operations.

At a previous meeting, some supervisors shared concerns that a day care might not be appropriate for a town house. Supervisor Jeff Geesaman said he's worried children would dart toward their parents' waiting vehicles and be struck by other cars.

"At pick-up time, kids are inside. We're not outside playing," Albright said.

A zoning change would allow day cares anywhere in R-2, so another provider might not be as responsible or have the support of neighbors, the supervisors said.

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