New Ypsilanti Township daycare plans halted over traffic safety concerns
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.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
“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.”