The

Albemarle County Board of Supervisors

, has denied “with regret” a special use permit that would have allowed the Four Seasons Learning Center to increase enrollment from 40 to 64 students. Their action comes less than two months after

the Planning Commission recommended allowing the day-care facility to expand to 50 students

.

The Four Seasons Learning Center lies at the corner of Lakeview Drive and Four Seasons Drive in a residential area within the County’s growth area.

Attorney John Simpson, who represented Four Seasons, stated that his client charges 20% less than other daycare facilities in the community, and added that they need this expansion to maintain these rates.  He disputed an initial traffic analysis provided by planning staff and submitted an alternative study, which had been approved by VDOT, suggesting that no improvements to the intersection were necessary. He also provided a video as evidence that the school pick-up and drop-off is “no Chinese fire drill” and actually has a minimal traffic impact on the neighborhood.

The primary concern of both County staff and residents of the neighborhood is whether the increased traffic and parking load would be appropriate for this residential neighborhood. Several residents of Lakeview Drive s urged the board to deny the permit on the grounds that they would be adversely affected by these changes.

Supervisor

David Slutzky

(Rio) said this was a “tough one” for him. Although he sees the dire need for adequate day care in the community, a visit to the site convinced him that the scale was not appropriate for this particular intersection and community. Given the strong opposition by the neighbors, he could not support this special use permit. The Board voted 4-1 to deny the permit, with

Ken Boyd

(Rivanna) voting no. Supervisor

Ann Mallek

(White Hall) was not present.

Daniel Nairn

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Charlottesville Tomorrow

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