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Posted on Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

New Ypsilanti Township daycare plans halted over traffic safety concerns

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Township is asking a woman proposing to open a daycare along South Grove Road to develop safe parking plans before it will consider allowing her business to move forward.

At its May 20 meeting, the Planning Commission tabled approval of a special use permit to allow the daycare to operate in a residential zone.

Several commissioners expressed concern that the business, which would provide care for 12 children, would be a danger due to cars regularly pulling in and out of a driveway along a road where motorists regularly travel over the posted 35 mph speed limit.

“Even since they lowered the speed limit, it’s a very dangerous road,” said commissioner Sally Richie.

“People will pass you in left turn land. I’m not sure how it would impact it having 12 different cars backing into the street all day, but it doesn’t seem real safe.”

Crystal Evans, who is proposing the daycare, did not have any drawings or plans she could present to the planning commission, but said her neighbors turned their front yard into a driveway. She said she could do the same.


A new daycare is proposed for a home at 1047 Grove Road, but officials fear it may be a danger to motorists along the busy road.

Tom Perkins | For

“We have a section in front of the porch where we can put something in that can be a parking lot,” she said. “We could have two parents coming and going at the same time.”

She added that there is parking on a nearby side street and she already discussed with parents the idea of them arriving several minutes apart to avoid having too many cars trying to pull in the driveway at once.

Evans said she worked for a daycare that recently closed and she is pursuing the new business because some of the parents wanted her to continue to care for their kids. The business would have three employees, she said.

But Planning Coordinator Joe Lawson said front yard driveways are generally illegal and that the neighbors’ driveway could violate township ordinance.

Township staff also recommended against approval of the plans over traffic safety concerns, and a neighbor wrote several letters to the township voicing opposition to the business because of traffic issues and having so many kids in the house.

Commissioner Laurence Krieg said he feared parents in a hurry would be stopping along the curb in the bike lane and partially blocking travel lanes.

“I’m also concerned about safety issue,” he said.

Chair John Reiser echoed those thoughts and the commission asked that Evans figure out an alternative to parking cars in her front yard or present drawings of how it could safely be done so cars can turnaround and not have to back out onto a busy road.

“I think we need to take into account other residents,” he said. “It’s really too risky, as far as I’m concerned, with cars backing in and out on a road like that.”



Tue, May 28, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

First of all, Ypsi township did a stupid thing by getting rid of the extra lanes on Grove road in order to put in the non-used bike lanes. This is what causes a traffic hazard on Grove Road. And why don't the police enforce the 35 mph speed limit if they want the residents to be safe? Second of all, isn't this an invasion of privacy by the Ann Arbor News to post this picture, full name and address of this individual? Shame on you Ann Arbor News! Are you so lacking of news you have to resort to this type of reporting? Also, shouldn't the Ann Arbor News post the information on the so called complaining neighbor? Does it really exist? In these tough times, and people are trying to find innovative ways to make ends meet, the government puts them out of business before they can even start!!! They give GM and other big businesses large tax abatements for just a few jobs. It would be cheaper for the few jobs created to give the money to the individuals to create their own businesses and jobs.

Lisa Marie

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

According to the planning commission agenda, the woman's name is Crystal Evens, not Priscilla Evans.

Tom Perkins

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 8:30 p.m.

Thanks, Lisa Marie. The name has been corrected.

E. Daniel Ayres

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

This is a typical NIMBY issue which will only get worse until folks start walking their kids to day care! Folks in our neighborhood used the same argument to drive a Muslim day care operation serving a smaller clientele out of business on a 25 mph residential street. Our state regulators for day care operations need to become more environmentally conscious and allow many more smaller "grandma's house" operations to flourish with support rather than interference.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

"We could have two parents coming and going at the same time." Joy, oh joy! Why do people think they can inconvenience their neighbors by operating high taffic businesses in their residential neighborhoods? "Think of the children" does not cut it.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

@Justin: neighbors should not be forced to accept a residence suddenly being turned into a business. They should not be forced to accept the increase traffic, noise, and disruption. They should not need to worry about the traffic safety issues. So a disruptive business in a residential neighborhood does need to move. It isn't acceptable. It is why we have zoning laws.

Justin Altman

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

Why do neighbors think they can inconvenience people operating small start-up businesses on their own property? "Think of the children" does not cut it. This was the same issue with the Selma Cafe: The people want to use their own property in a certain peaceful and productive manner, and due to the poor planning of the roads and poor public stewardship of zoning and regulation there are safety concerns and "impositions" on neighbors. But it's not the business operations that are the problem, it's city/township operations. And in each case the city/township expects the residents to take actions to correct the problem (move, try to find an expensive/zoning permitted solution, or quit) rather than address the problems of the roads, traffic, and ordinances.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

I do not have enough information on the traffic count that is on Grove Road during the times of child drop off and pick up, but I do know that if the Township knows that there is a speeding issue, it should be addressed. Speeding is against the law, looking over speeders is just ignorant. If our law makers inforce the laws on the books than this may not be an issue. Iguess we just have to vote more ignorant law makers into office so that we will have no one protecting the law abiding citizens.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

Interesting. And yet there's a large day care center in Ypsi (not a home-based center) where the only options are to park in front of the building and *back out onto Washtenaw* or park in back of the building and carry your infant/toddler/preschooler down a rickety wooden staircase to get to the parking lot. Not fun in any season, but especially winter.

good neighbor

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

I agree that we should support developing businesses, especially quality child care in Ypsilanti. However, the safety concerns outweigh an individual's goals for a business in her home. Perhaps this small home and traffic situation would be better suited to a family child care (licensed for a maximum of six children). I understand there are other child care centers under development in that part of the township/city that will serve families with nationally certified child care professionals. I understand that these new centers have gone to great expense to alleviate traffic safety concerns as well as to meet state and national standards. Smaller businesses should do the same. Lets remember that the most important issue here is the safety and welfare of the children.

Justin Altman

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

"The most important issue" here is whatever is decided between the willing customers and the daycare provider. If the board members were sending their kids there, they could certainly hold out and say "we want to use you, but first you have to fix the parking issue." But if parents are okay parking around the corner, having staggered drop-offs and pick-ups, and are generally okay with the safety procedures provided, what does the Township Commision have to do with anything?


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

Speed bump on the road, and put in a circular driveway.

Jennifer McCurdy

Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

"Several commissioners expressed concern that the business, which would provide care for 12 children, would be a danger due to cars regularly pulling in and out of a driveway along a road where motorists regularly travel over the posted 35 mph speed limit" Seems like the focus is on the wrong issue. Enforce the speed limit in a residential area. Don't thwart the growth of a small business because the township/city services cannot do their job effectively. Why should their inability to do their job prevent her from doing hers.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

Bravo.... I should have read your comment before writing my own. But , I still beleive that a proper traffic count shouldbe done for safety reasons. I hope after your comments and mine GroveRoad will be properly staffed to inforce the current laws.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

Good decision, planning commission. Grove is a very dangerous road to back onto, especially during morning and evening rush, when parents would generally be dropping off and picking up. They need to be able to park, turn around, and pull out forward. Additionally, there should be a fence to prevent children from running into the road.


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

I thought it was common practice to park on the lawns on that road....


Wed, May 22, 2013 : 10:48 a.m.

Here's an entrepreneur who wants to start a well needed business and is being shot down because "parents in a hurry may back out too quickly". Way to project things that may not even happen, planning commission.