CONYERS — After one commissioner toured similar day care businesses and the county received letters of support, the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a special use permit for a children’s day care located in a residential neighborhood. The action came at the BOC’s last meeting.
Ahmad and Danielle Brooks were seeking a special use permit to operate the day care at their home for between three and six children, ages 6 weeks to 3 years. The Brooks live at 4284 Village Green Circle in Conyers, off Christian Circle in southeast Rockdale. The property is zoned R-1 (Single Family Residential) and is designated on the county’s future land use map at low density residential.
In May the Planning and Zoning staff recommended approval of the SUP, but the Planning Commission deadlocked in a 2-2 vote and moved the application forward without a recommendation. Increased traffic and having a business in a residential neighborhood were the main objections expressed by the two dissenting members.
The day care will use a curriculum and structured schedule with the children. They will be regulated by Bright from the Start: Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning, so the home will be inspected and regulated by an outside source, and after the children reach 3 years old, they will leave the day care and go into pre-k programs.
Ahmad Brooks said the yard will be fenced so the children cannot get out into the neighborhood. He added that because they own the home, the last thing they want to do is decrease the value of property in the neighborhood, because that will affect them as well.
But at a May 28 public hearing, the county heard from five residents who spoke in opposition to the request. Their concerns ranged from the SUP being inconsistent with the current zoning and land use maps and being “spot zoning,” to concerns about noise, the current septic system at the home not being able to handle the extra load a day care center will put on it, and the liability of neighbors if the children got out into the neighborhood.
In June, Post 1 Commissioner Sherri Washington commented that Planning and Zoning Director Kc Krzic took her on a tour of several other home day care centers operating in Rockdale County. Washington said she was impressed by the businesses and the care they take in caring for children. She said she also talked to neighbors of the other businesses and found them to be in support of the businesses.
The BOC was scheduled to make its final decision on the SUP at its June 18 meeting, but delayed its vote until the last meeting in June. At that meeting, Krzic noted that the county had received several letters of support for the Brooks’ request.
Post 2 Commissioner Dr. Doreen Williams made a motion to approve the SUP for the day care center. Washington seconded the motion and it was approved by a 3-0 vote.